Like most Capital Region basketball fans, I grew up with the Albany Patroons. Two CBA championships, five regular season league titles, more htan two dozen players and coaches who have graduated from the gold and kelly green at the Armory (and sometimes at the old Knickerbocker Arena) to the NBA.
And when I heard news that the Patroons would return to the Washington Avenue Armory as one of the inaugural teams of the new North American Premier Basketball League, I was thrilled.
This should be lots of fun.
I’m really hoping this venture will work out. Even though I realize that the Patroons have come and gone several times, there’s still a part of that franchise that is near and dear to hoops heads in the Capital Region. Yeah, you can have your Siena and UAlbany and Saint Rose hoops games, and maybe there’s still interest in the high school hoops circuit, but really…
When you can have the Pats packing the Armory on a cold, winter night, when the gold and kelly green are dominating their opponents like none other… that’s still good.
Of course, there’s always a second game to play when being a Patroons fan.
And that is … how much will the Times Union either knock the Patroons or completely get things wrong?
Case in point. In a December 1 Times Union article, beat reporter Tim Wilkin refers to Albany’s home opener as being against the Ohio Bootleggers. Really? Are you sure? Because the Bootleggers were a team in the old Premier Basketball League last year, the new team in the NAPBL is the Ohio Cardinals.
Oh wait … the Patroons aren’t even playing the Ohio team as their home opener, their January 6 Thursday night game is against the Rochester Razorsharks.
Starting off in prime season form, Tim.
Oh I should get used to this. There’s always two games every night with the Patroons – the game they play and the game that’s reported in the TU. The TU will undoubtedly gripe about something or anything – long screeds about the inability to find decent parking around the Armory, off-court battles between ownership and the league, misrepresenting scores and wins and losses – heck, at one point the TU even forgot the Pats played at the arena that currently bears the name of the newspaper.
Yeah, quality journalism from Big Hearst.
But this isn’t supposed to be a Big Hearst bash-a-thon. All I’m saying is that we give the Patroons a chance, see what kind of talent they sign, see the level of competition in this league …
And, of course, be thankful for the return of minor league basketball to our home.
Albany’s home opener is on January 6, 2018 at the Washington Avenue Armory, against the Rochester Razorsharks. Good seats are still available.
Let’s enjoy this.