Albany Patroons

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Albany Patroons
Albany Patroons logo
Leagues CBA 1982–1992, 2005–2009
USBL 2006–2007
Founded 1982
Folded 2009
History Albany Patroons
1982–1992
Capital Region Pontiacs
1992–1993
Albany Patroons
2005–2009
Arena Washington Avenue Armory
Location Albany, New York
Team colors Gold & Kelly Green
Head coach Derrick Rowland
Ownership Ben Fernandez
Championships 2 (1984, 1988)
Uniforms
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Home jersey
Kit shorts rsa08a.png
Team colours
Home
Kit body thinyellowsides.png
Away jersey
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Team colours
Away

The Albany Patroons were a professional basketball team that played in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) (and played in the United States Basketball League (USBL) from 2006 until 2007).

The Patroons' home arena was the 3,500-seat Washington Avenue Armory, a former New York National Guard armory with a castle-like exterior. In 1990, the Patroons moved from this location and into the newly constructed Times Union Center, then called the Knickerbocker Arena. When the team was re-established in 2005, it moved back into the Armory. In February 2009, the CBA announced it was abbreviating its regular season as of February 3.[1] On its official website, it was announced that the team would not play in the 2009–2010 season.[2]

History[edit]

Originally entering the CBA as an expansion franchise in the 1982–83 season, the Patroons won league championships in 1984 and 1988, defeating the Wyoming Wildcatters in both instances.

NBA head coach Phil Jackson won his first championship ring when he guided the Albany Patroons to the 1984 CBA championship. Walter (Walt The Stalt) Williams was named MVP of the series and went on to become a key assistant coach to Jackson. Jackson would later win NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.

In 1988, the Patroons won a second championship, this time under head coach Bill Musselman. Musselman would later coach the Minnesota Timberwolves, and several Patroons from the 1987–88 championship year – including Rick Carlisle, Scott Brooks, Tod Murphy, Tony Campbell and Sidney Lowe – played on those early Timberwolves squads.

Three years later, the Patroons completed a 50–6 regular season, including winning all 28 of their home games; at that time, George Karl was the Patroons' head coach. Future NBA stars Mario Elie and Vincent Askew were part of that 50–6 squad.

During the Patroons' time in the CBA, they won two CBA championships and five Eastern Division regular season titles. For the 1992–93 season, the Patroons were renamed the Capital Region Pontiacs, as the team received sponsorship from the local car dealerships. After that season, the franchise was relocated to Connecticut, where it played for 1½ years as the Hartford Hellcats.

Other notable basketball coaches that have coached the Patroons are Bob Thomason and Bruce Brown.[3]

Rebirth[edit]

After a decade-long absence, the Patroons rejoined the CBA as an expansion team for the 2005–06 season, with their original name, original colors (gold and kelly green), and a return to the old Washington Avenue Armory. Former NBA star Micheal Ray Richardson, who played for the Patroons in the 1987–88 season, became the team's head coach, while the Patroons' career scoring leader, Derrick Rowland, was named his assistant coach. In the Patroons' first year back, they finished with a 20–28 record, good for third place in the CBA Eastern Conference. Albany qualified for the playoffs, but lost in the first round of the CBA round-robin style playoffs. The Patroons were led by T. J. Thompson, who averaged a league-high 25.4 points per game, and local product James Thomas, who in two stints with the Patroons led the team in rebounds per game. On April 25, 2006, the CBA moved its league offices into the Patroon's home, the Washington Avenue Armory (News Brief).

In the 2006–07 season, the Patroons won the CBA American Conference championship and advanced to the best-of-five CBA Finals against the Yakama Sun Kings. The Patroons lost game one at the Armory, to the Sun Kings. However, this was overshadowed when the next day, coach Micheal Ray Richardson was suspended for the rest of the season for firing expletives at hecklers during games and his comments in an interview with the Albany Times Union newspaper, stating that Jews were "crafty (because) they are hated worldwide."[4][5] Without Richardson, the Patroons dropped the next two games of the finals, as the Sun Kings won their second consecutive championship. Three days after the conclusion of the series, it was announced that Richardson would not be back to the coach the Patroons.[6] Richardson, now the coach of the Oklahoma Cavalry, was replaced by Vincent Askew.[7]

On July 10, 2007, former Patroon Jamario Moon signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Raptors. Moon had a strong rookie campaign, averaging 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

USBL[edit]

On June 14, 2006, the Patroons purchased the rights to a United States Basketball League team, which would also be called the Patroons, and would also play in the Washington Avenue Armory. The team replaced the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs. However, after only two years and very low attendance at their home games, the Patroons ended their USBL affiliation on June 19, 2007.[8]

In July 2008 it was announced by arena management and the Albany Times Union that the Patroons might not call the Washington Avenue Armory home for the next season. Jim Coyne, general manager of the Armory and commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association, told the newspaper that if the team didn't sell 600 season tickets by the end of July the team would either fold or move. At that time the Pats had about 50 season ticket holders.

Both the league and the Patroons folded after the 2009 season citing the terrible economy, according to the Albany Times Union.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year League Reg. Season Playoffs
1982/83 CBA 4th, Eastern Did not qualify
1983/84 CBA 2nd, Eastern Champions
1984/85 CBA 1st, Eastern Eastern Division Finals
1985/86 CBA 4th, Eastern Eastern Division Semifinals
1986/87 CBA 2nd, Eastern Eastern Division Finals
1987/88 CBA 1st, Eastern Champions
1988/89 CBA 1st, Eastern Eastern Division Semifinals
1989/90 CBA 1st, American Eastern American Conference Finals
1990/91 CBA 1st, National Eastern National Conference Finals
1991/92 CBA 3rd, American Eastern American Conference 1st Round Shootout
1992/93 CBA 2nd, American Eastern Did not qualify
2005/06 CBA 3rd, Eastern 2nd in Eastern Round Robin
2006 USBL 4th, Eastern Lost First Round
2006/07 CBA 1st, American Eastern Lost CBA Finals
2007 USBL 2nd Withdrew from league
2008 CBA 4th, Eastern Did not qualify
2009 CBA 2nd Lost CBA Finals

References[edit]

External links[edit]