Dentmon Mouthguard.jpg
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Former Washington Husky Justin Dentmon is dominating the NBA's Developmental League right now. In 34 games, the point guard is averaging just over

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Why Doesn't Seattle Have an NBA D-League Team?

Dentmon Mouthguard.jpg
Image source
Former Washington Husky Justin Dentmon is dominating the NBA's Developmental League right now. In 34 games, the point guard is averaging just over 19 points, 4 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game for the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks' B-team based in the bustling metropolis of Frisco, Texas. The gaudy stat-line is reminiscent of another former UW distributor, Will Conroy, who was arguably the greatest D-League player ever (a dubious distinction if ever there was one), but could never quite catch a break in the big league. The news of another local hoopster making good got us wondering: If Frisco, Texas, has a D-League team, why the hell doesn't Seattle?

Since the Sonics were hijacked by Clay Bennett and Co. after the 2007-08 season, there has been a gaping void in the city's pro-basketball scene. The Huskies, in the midst of an up-and-down (but mostly up) season, are the best option for local fans, but NCAA play can leave hardcore hoop aficionados wanting more. Even if that "more" is a team of players who are just aren't quite NBA caliber.

Sure, we could wait for NBA commissioner David Stern to kill off the New Orleans Hornets and hope he finds an owner willing to revive the Sonics in Seattle. But in the meantime, KeyArena is just begging for a men's pro team to play there. (Stern did recently tell ESPN's Bill Simmons that, though he "regrets" the way the Sonics left, Seattle won't get a replacement franchise until it builds a new arena.)

Remarkably, Seattle isn't even on the radar for a D-League expansion team. According to Wikipedia, Los Angeles is on deck, with Hamilton, Ontario, next in line for a Toronto Raptors affiliate. Other proposed locations range from unlikely (Honolulu) to depressing (St. George, Utah) to more depressing (Wenatchee, the only Washington location listed).

That's a shame.

Imagine the team--let's call them the Seattle Sharrows, since all D-League franchises have wacky names--of busts and not-quite-good-enoughs that could be cobbled together from local schools and teams. Here's the starting five:

C- Josh Heytvelt (disgraced Gonzaga star, now playing in Croatia.)

F- Charles Garcia (Seattle U star left early for the draft, last spotted playing pro in Mexico.)

F- Bobby Jones (UW defensive ace, playing in Italy.)

G- Conroy (left the D-League to play--and get paid--in Turkey.)

G- Dentmon

And the bench:

C- Robert Swift (epic Sonics bust, now playing in Tokyo.)

F - CJ Giles (Kansas/Oregon State head case, played last season in Lebanon.)

F - Erroll Knight (UW-to-Gonzaga transfer, also MIA.)

F- Doug Wrenn (Bob Bender recruit would play on work release from prison.)

G - Kyle Weaver (WSU standout who had a cup of coffee with the Zombie Sonics in Oklahoma City, but currently out of basketball so far as we can tell.)

G- Derek Raivio (Gonzaga, now playing for Erie BayHawks of the D-League.)

Let's throw in former UW sharpshooter Ryan Appleby as a player/coach, to be assisted by shoot-first UW forward Jamaal Williams (now an assistant for the Huskies) and Dan Dickau (another caucasian Gonzaga guard, now offering private coaching lessons).

Is there any way that team doesn't draw at least 6,000 fans a night to KeyArena?

 
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