Edmonton Sled Dawgz

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International Basketball League
April 2, 2007 Exclusive Interview with the Edmonton Sled Dawgz

Q: Why did you choose the International Basketball League to place a team(s) in?

A- When looking to join a league we wanted to be involved with a league that had a good business plan and after doing our research we decided that the IBL would be the best fit.

Q: Why not the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) which would have close by teams from Butte, Spokane, Great Falls and possibly Vancouver B.C. (Dragons) and Lethbridge (Canadians)?

A- Well the CBA is a great league with great history and for the CBA possibly having teams in Vancouver and Lethbridge I know for a fact that Vancouver is not getting a team as the team is suppose to be playing in Kent, Washington. The IBL's benefits are affordable ownership with an efficient schedule and exciting basketball (127 ppg, plus rapidly improving talent across the league)

Q: The history of semi-pro hoops in Alberta is 0-and-5 – Alberta Dusters, Edmonton Skyhawks, Calgary 88s, Calgary Drillers Calgary Outlaws – what makes you think Edmonton may succeed? What will you do different?

A- Past failures do not mean that basketball will never succeed in Alberta. The IBL is designed to promote longevity (this is absolutely true) again, our focus as a team and a league is to offer the owners the most affordable schedule possible. Ultimately, because you're playing in the IBL you can guarantee your fans and sponsors that you will make it through the season, and all your opponents will show up unlike the ABA. This might not have been the case with other Alberta teams in the past.

Q: Will you play a 4 game schedule (two home – two away) against close rivals Everett, Lewis County, Portland, Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver (Wash) to make it a 24 game season?

A The 2008 schedule will not be completed for awhile, but we can look forward to be playing the likes of Seattle, Portland, Everett, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Chicago just to name a few in Edmonton's inaugural schedule. 

Q: Did you ever think of joining the ABA which already has the Montreal and Quebec and next year Halifax and Mississauga with possibly Ottawa also?

A: Yes we looked at the ABA and talking to a few of the owners in the league which have since pulled there teams out of the league it's not a stable league as teams haven't shown up for games teams folding 15 in 2 months as they have no business plan.  The IBL on the other side have a sound business plan and I wanted to be in a league where the fans would be able to enjoy the best basketball.

Q: What will be the salary cap and salary range of players? Per game? For season?

A: We have no salary cap as most salaries for players are modest as we are a developmental league. Most players are interested in the exposure, and the opportunity to catch the eye of an NBA scout.

Q: Where will you play (seating capacity) and what is your break even point for attendance?

A- We are working out a lease as the team will announce this shortly.

Q: Who will be owning the team(s) in Calgary and Saskatoon?

A- The Calgary team will be owned by a few local investors and for Saskatoon, Sports Management Group will own that team as they also own the Edmonton team.

Q: Will you be looking to have Canadian content and Edmonton players on the team?

A: Yes our coach Paul Sir as already talked to a few Canadian players.

Q: Has a logo being established yet and why the name Sled Dawgz?

A: The logo will unveiled at the teams kick off press conference and as for the name we had a contest for naming the team and Sled Dawgz was the most popular one voted on.

Q What rules – in the case of majority of semi-pro basketball leagues – are different in the IBL

A A 22 second shot clock and as for the immediate inbound rule mentioned above does not involve the ref throwing the ball in. Players always inbound the ball.

Q: From last year the IBL appears to have lost 9 teams but added 7 does this sort of stability or lack of worry you or is normal in semi pro sports?

 A: No, turnover is not ideal, but it is to be expected. The 15 returning teams are in good to great shape financially. the IBL is, after two years modestly successful seasons, in a position to be much more selective regarding new owners..The seven new teams, highlighted by Everett, Phoenix and Santa Barbara, are all solid additions to the league. Everett has already sold over 1,000 season tickets. Phoenix and Santa Barbara are both being received enthusiastically in there communities. Also these teams are going to be very good on the court.

Q Will you have a website and if so what is it under? Will you be broadcasting games on Edmonton radio or for example television on Shaw?

A- Yes we will have a website up and going in a week or so as it will be www.sleddawgz.com. We will also be broadcasting are games on the radio as we have interest from a few radio stations and will hopefully have a few games on TV.

Q With semi pro hoop teams now - possibly for 2008 - in Halifax, Montreal, Mississauga, Quebec, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Calgary, Lethbridge, Vancouver and Edmonton do you see again a try at a pro league just in Canada?

A: No I don't see a pro league in Canada as they have tried in the pass just can't seem to make it work as most of the American players would rather play in an American based league.

Q: How will you make this a event rather then just  a game to attract fans?

A We will have a lot of other things going on during the games from our dance team, in house DJ, family fun days, fan of the game, ladies and guys night out, the mascot, game night giveaways, move of the game ( we pick 2 fans and move them down to courtside seats) light and laser show and also a few trip giveaways to a Toronto Raptors game 2 tickets,hotel and flight. we will also have a fishing trip to BC, one to Las Vegas and more to be added.

Q  A lot of the IBL teams have "local" players dominating the rosters. Could Edmonton play with just Alberta hoopsters on team?

A We will have a few local and Canadian players as Paul Sir the teams Coach and Director of Basketball Operations has said he has detected a strong interest from the likes of J.R. Patrick, Phil Scherer, Jerome Bucknor and his son Steve Sir.

Q: What level is this equal to?  Canadian university? Canadian college? NAIA. NCAA Division III. NCAA Division II

A- The level is very high players such as former NBA All-Star and slam dunk winner Cedric Ceballos plays for the Phoenix Flame, former NBA first round pick Erick Barkley, former Kansas stand out Michael Lee and 7'9 Sun Ming Ming just to name a few as well as Dennis Rodman play in the league last year. I would say the teams in the league could match up to any other minor league teams and NCAA division 1 teams.

Q The Everest Explosion look like the class of the IBL on and off the court. Will you be getting any advice from them?

A Yes of course I will be contacting CEO-GM Nathan Mumm of the Everett team as everybody in the league is here to help in anyway.

Q How will you advertise tryouts in 2008?

A We will having our first free agent camp at the end of April at Concordia University as we will be advertising in the paper and on the website.

Q Will there be any exhibition games played outside Edmonton - say in Red Deer, Fort McMurray or Grande Prairie?

A Yes I will be planning our training camp in either Red Deer or Fort McMurray and play a few ex games there as well. Our goal is to provide fan friendly,affordable, exciting professional basketball

Will players Morph into Edmonton Sled Dawgz?
Perhaps...only in Canada.

Send us your comments on the Edmonton Sled Dawgs and we will post them here
name: Scott Haryett
email: Tallyhoohrh@hotmail.com

comment: It is nice to hear that another pro basketball team is comming to Edmonton. I think you need to remember that the key is to have local talent. Having a roster of american players no one has heard of is not helpful and there would be no reason to support them. I am looking forward to seeing the sled dawgs play, I hope they stick around. In any case it would be a mistake to use the failure of pro basketball in this province as a reason not to develop young talent.

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