Capital Region Pontiacs
|Arena||Washington Avenue Armory|
|Location||Albany, New York|
|Head coach||Derrick Rowland|
|Championships||2 (1984, 1988)|
The Albany Patroons are a professional basketball team that plays in The Basketball League (TBL). Previously, the team competed in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and in the United States Basketball League (USBL).
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. On its official website, it was announced that the team would not play in the 2009–2010 season.
In 2017, the Patroons became one of the inaugural members of North American Premier Basketball (NAPB), and resumed using the Washington Avenue Armory as their home court.
A CBA 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 Patroons to the 1984 CBA championship. Andre Gaddy was named MVP of the series. Jackson later won 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 later coached the Minnesota Timberwolves, and several Patroons from the 1987–88 championship year – including Scott Brooks, Tod Murphy, Tony Campbell and Sidney Lowe – played on those early Timberwolves squads.
In the 1990-91 season, the Patroons completed a 50–6 regular season, winning all 28 home games, with George Karl as head coach. Future NBA players Mario Elie and Vincent Askew were part of that squad.
The Patroons won two CBA championships and five Eastern Division regular season titles. For the 1992–93 season, they were renamed the Capital Region Pontiacs, as the team received sponsorship from local car dealerships. After that season, the franchise was relocated to Connecticut, where it played for 1½ years as the Hartford Hellcats.
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 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, but this was overshadowed the next day, when coach Micheal Ray Richardson was suspended for the rest of the season for firing expletives at hecklers during games and saying in an interview with the Albany Times Union newspaper that Jews are "crafty [because] they are hated worldwide." 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 return. Richardson, now the coach of the Oklahoma Cavalry, was replaced by Vincent Askew.
On June 14, 2006, the Patroons purchased the rights to a United States Basketball League team, also to be called the Patroons, and play in the Washington Avenue Armory. The team replaced the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs. After only two years of very low attendance at their home games, the Patroons ended their USBL affiliation on June 19, 2007, and returned to the CBA.
In July 2008, arena management and the Albany Times Union revealed that the Patroons might not return for the 2009 season. Jim Coyne, general manager of the Armory and CBA commissioner, told the newspaper that if the team did not sell 600 season tickets by the end of July it 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 economic recession, according to the Albany Times Union.
Second return and North American Premier Basketball
On August 30, 2017, it was announced that the Albany Patroons would return to the Washington Avenue Armory in January 2018 under the ownership of former players. The new team became one of the inaugural members of North American Premier Basketball (NAPB). The Patroons' roster includes former NBA players Maurice Taylor, Smush Parker and Jamario Moon.
|Albany Patroons roster|
Updated: May 4, 2018
|1982/83||CBA||4th, Eastern||Did not qualify|
|1984/85||CBA||1st, Eastern||Eastern Division Finals|
|1985/86||CBA||4th, Eastern||Eastern Division Semifinals|
|1986/87||CBA||2nd, Eastern||Eastern Division Finals|
|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|
- CBA Release
- Albany Patroons Head Coaches
- CBA coach Richardson suspended for remarks, March 28, 2007
- Time for this coach to sit out Archived 2008-02-14 at the Wayback Machine., March 28, 2007
- Patroons, Richardson part, April 3, 2007
- Patroons will not return to USBL, June 20, 2007
- "Washington Avenue Armory, Albany Patroons announce return of professional basketball in Albany". Medium.com. August 30, 2017.