bj league

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Bj league
Bj-league logo.jpg
Sport basketball
Founded 2005
Inaugural season 2005–06
Ceased 2016
Replaced by B.League
Owner(s) Basketball Japan League Co., Ltd.
Commissioner Toshimitsu Kawachi
No. of teams 24
Country  Japan
Continent FIBA Asia
Last
champion(s)
Ryukyu Golden Kings (4th title)
Most titles Ryukyu Golden Kings (4 titles)
TV partner(s) BS Fuji, Gaora
Sponsor(s) Turkish Airlines (2014-2016)
Level on pyramid 1
Official website www.bj-league.com

The bj league (日本プロバスケットボールリーグ Nihon Puro Basukettobōru Rīgu?, also referred to as the Basketball Japan League) was a professional basketball league in Japan that began in November 2005 as a six-team league. The league was operated as a competitor to the established Japan Super League which was run by the Japan Basketball Association, the official governing body of basketball in Japan. Over the next ten years the league saw continual expansion, with at least one new team joining every season, reaching 24 teams divided into two conferences in its final season in 2015-16. Turkish Airlines was the major sponsor of the 2014–15 and 2015-16 seasons.[1]

The bj league operated on the American sports franchise system. This was in contrast to the Japan Super League and its successor, the National Basketball League, which was a corporate league composed primarily of company teams and other clubs affiliated with the JBA. There was no system of promotion and relegation between the two leagues. This division in the administration of the sport resulted in FIBA suspending the JBA from November 2014 until August 2015. As a condition of lifting the suspension, the bj league merged with the NBL and the National Basketball Development League to form the B.League.[2]

History[edit]

The formation of the league commenced in August 2004 with an announcement by Niigata Albirex BB and Saitama Broncos that they were withdrawing their membership of the Japan Basketball Association, and the establishment of a intermediary corporation later the same month that was tasked with forming a new league. In November 2004 the formation of the bj league was officially announced, with four newly-formed clubs (Oita Heat Devils, Osaka Deinonychus, Sendai 89ERS and Tokyo Apache) to join the Niigata and Saitama teams. In May 2005 the owners of the Osaka franchise faced financial difficulty and transferred their licence to the club's intended main sponsor, who instead formed Osaka Evessa. In October 2005, three weeks prior to the start of the league's first season, the league announced its first expansion, with the Takamatsu Five Arrows and Toyama Grouses to join the 2006-07 season.

The 2005-06 season was a 40-match season, with each club playing 8 matches against each other. Osaka and Niigata dominated the first season of the league with 31 and 29 wins respectively; Osaka became inaugural league champions by defeating Niigata 74-64 in the championship match.

The inclusion of the Takamatsu and Toyama teams saw the league separate into 4-team Eastern and Western conferences in the 2006-07 season. Each team again played 40 matches; eight against each of the teams in their conference and four against each of the teams in the opposing conference. However, teams were ranked in a single standings table, meaning three Western Conference teams (Osaka, Takamatsu and Tokyo) and Niigata competed in the semi-finals. Osaka claimed a second championship by defeating 94-78 in the final. The season also saw the league hold its first all-star match and announce that a further two expansion teams, Rizing Fukuoka and Ryukyu Golden Kings, would join the following season.

Teams[edit]

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Former teams

Defunct teams

Expansion[edit]

The bj league has rapidly expanded since its inauguration as a six-team league in 2005.[3] The league expanded to 22 teams for the 2014–15 season with the addition of the Fukushima Firebonds.[4] For its final season the number increased to 24 with the addition of Kanazawa Samuraiz and Hiroshima Lightning.

Playoff champions[edit]

Season Champions Runners-up
2005–06 Osaka Evessa Niigata Albirex BB
2006–07 Osaka Evessa Takamatsu Five Arrows
2007–08 Osaka Evessa Tokyo Apache
2008–09 Ryukyu Golden Kings Tokyo Apache
2009–10 Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix Osaka Evessa
2010–11 Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix Ryukyu Golden Kings
2011–12 Ryukyu Golden Kings Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix
2012–13 Yokohama B-Corsairs Rizing Fukuoka
2013–14 Ryukyu Golden Kings Akita Northern Happinets
2014–15 Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix Akita Northern Happinets
2015–16 Ryukyu Golden Kings Toyama Grouses

All-star game[edit]

Season Date Arena Host City Result MVP (Team)
2006–07 January 27, 2007 Ginowan Municipal Gymnasium Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture EAST 126–97 WEST Jerod Ward (Toyama Grouses)
2007–08 December 29, 2007 Toki Messe Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture EAST 121–94 WEST Naoto Kosuge (Niigata Albirex BB)
2008–09 January 25, 2009 B-Con Plaza Beppu, Ōita Prefecture EAST 117–96 WEST Bobby St. Preux (Sendai 89ERS)
2009–10 January 31, 2010 Sekisui Heim Super Arena Rifu, Miyagi Prefecture WEST 105–102 EAST Michael Parker (Rizing Fukuoka)
2010–11 January 23, 2011 Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium Osaka, Osaka Prefecture WEST 110–109 EAST Lynn Washington (Osaka Evessa)
2011–12 January 15, 2012 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama Prefecture WEST 120–93 EAST Lynn Washington (Osaka Evessa)
2012–13 January 20, 2013 Ariake Colloseum Koto Ward, Tokyo WEST 128–119 EAST Michael Parker (Shimane Susanoo Magic)
2013–14 January 26, 2014 Akita Municipal Gymnasium Akita, Akita Prefecture EAST 98–91 WEST Yuki Togashi (Akita Northern Happinets)
2014–15 February 1, 2015 ALSOK Gunma Arena Gunma, Gunma Prefecture WEST 105–94 EAST Terrance Woodbury (Shiga Lakestars)

Awards[edit]

Season MVP[edit]

Season Recipient Team
2005–06 Lynn Washington Osaka Evessa
2006–07 David Palmer Osaka Evessa
2007–08 Lynn Washington Osaka Evessa
2008–09 Jeff Newton Ryukyu Golden Kings
2009–10 Wendell White Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix
2010–11 Jeffrey Parmer Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix
2011–12 Justin Burrell[5] Yokohama B-Corsairs
2012–13 Anthony McHenry Ryukyu Golden Kings
2013–14 Masashi Joho Toyama Grouses
2014–15 Kejuan Johnson Sendai 89ers

Best 5[edit]

Season Guard Forward Center
2005–06 Matt Lottich
(Osaka Evessa)
Yukinori Suzuki
(Oita Heat Devils)
Michael Jackson
(Sendai 89ERS)
William Pippen
(Tokyo Apache)
Nick Davis
(Niigata Albirex BB)
2006–07 Kouhei Aoki
(Tokyo Apache)
Rasheed Sparks
(Takamatsu Five Arrows)
Lynn Washington
(Osaka Evessa)
Andy Ellis
(Oita Heat Devils)
Nick Davis
(Niigata Albirex BB)
2007–08 Mikey Marshall
(Osaka Evessa)
Naoto Takushi
(Ryukyu Golden Kings)
Reggie Warren
(Takamatsu Five Arrows)
Andy Ellis
(Oita Heat Devils)
Patrick Whearty
(Sendai 89ERS)
2008–09 Michael Gardener
(Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix)
Naoto Takushi
(Ryukyu Golden Kings)
Bobby St. Preux
(Sendai 89ERS)
Lynn Washington
(Osaka Evessa)
Jeff Newton
(Ryukyu Golden Kings)
2009–10 Kouhei Aoki
(Tokyo Apache)
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
(Kyoto Hannaryz)
Michael Parker
(Rizing Fukuoka)
Wendell White
(Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix)
Julius Ashby
(Tokyo Apache)
2010–11 Wayne Arnold
(Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix)
Takumi Ishizaki
(Shimane Susanoo Magic)
Jeffrey Parmer
(Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix)
Michael Parker
(Rizing Fukuoka)
Anthony McHenry
(Ryukyu Golden Kings)
2011–12 Jermaine Dixon
(Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix)
Masashi Joho
(Toyama Grouses)
Kevin Palmer
(Rizing Fukuoka)
Justin Burrell
(Yokohama B-Corsairs)
Atsuya Ohta
(Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix)
2012–13 Narito Namizato
(Ryukyu Golden Kings)
Draelon Burns
(Yokohama B-Corsairs)
Anthony McHenry
(Ryukyu Golden Kings)
Chris Holm
(Niigata Albirex BB)
Jeral Davis
(Shimane Susanoo Magic)
Season Guard Forward
2013–14 Yuki Togashi
(Akita Northern Happinets)
Masashi Joho
(Toyama Grouses)
Ira Brown
(Toyama Grouses)
Reggie Warren
(Rizing Fukuoka)
Anthony McHenry
(Ryukyu Golden Kings)
2014–15 Shigehiro Taguchi
(Akita Northern Happinets)
Kejuan Johnson
(Sendai 89ers)
Scootie Randall
(Iwate Big Bulls)
Richard Roby
(Akita Northern Happinets)
Reggie Warren
(Rizing Fukuoka)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Turkish Airlines becomes top sponsor
  2. ^ Nagatsuka, Kaz (29 August 2015). "JPBL finalizes division placements for 2016–17". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  3. ^ JBA vacillates as clock ticks on possible FIBA suspension
  4. ^ Odeven, Ed (2 October 2014). "Key questions entering 10th season". Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  5. ^ American Justin Burrell wins MVP in Japan pro league – ESPN

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°28′20″N 133°03′55″E / 35.47222°N 133.06528°E / 35.47222; 133.06528