World Basketball League
World Basketball League (WBL) was a minor professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. It was founded as the International Basketball Association in November 1987, before changing its name prior to the 1988 season. One of the major differences between it and other leagues was that it had a height restriction. Players over 6 ft 5 in (1.95 m) were not allowed to play; this restriction was raised to 6 ft 7 in (2.0 m) in 1991.
Basketball Hall-of-Famer and Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy (6'1" tall) was one of the league's founders. Norm Drucker, a 25-year veteran referee with the National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association, and a former supervisor of officials for the NBA, served as the WBL's supervisor of officiating. One of the league's founders, Michael Monus, was eventually convicted of having embezzled $10 million to finance the league, from a privately owned company he had founded, Phar-Mor. He was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.
In addition to games against other teams in the league, games were also played against international teams. The league had several of its games broadcast on television. In Canada, the games were broadcast on the CanWest Global System. In the United States, the games were broadcast on SportsChannel America. Mike Rice was the primary analyst for the SportsChannel broadcasts.
After the league folded in 1992, the surviving Canadian-based teams formed the National Basketball League. This league played two seasons before it folded as well.
|Abruzzo All-Stars||Abruzzo, Italy||1992|
|Bahamas Nationals||The Bahamas||1992|
|Kiev All-Stars||Kiev, Ukraine||1992|
Champions of WBL
- 1988 Las Vegas Silver Streaks 102 Chicago Express 95
- 1989 Youngstown Pride won best of three series 2 games to none over Calgary 88's
- 1990 Youngstown Pride won best of five championship series 3 games to two over the Calgary 88's
- 1991 Dayton Wings won best of five championship series 3 games to none over the Calgary 88's
- 1992 Dayton Wings declared champions due to league folding on August 1
- Mario Elie, guard/forward for the San Antonio Spurs in the 1990s
- Aivar Kuusmaa, guard for Panathinaikos B.C. in the 1990s, Soviet champion in 1991
- Keith Smart, former NBA player and current coach
- John Starks, guard for the New York Knicks in most of the 90s
- Tim Legler, former NBA player and 1996 NBA Three-Point Shootout champion
- WBL Stats
- Dayton had the best record overall with 26 wins and only 7 loses