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Gwinnett gwizzlies?

Ez Street

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February 16, 2004 - Indianapolis, IN. Joe Newman, Co-Founder of the ABA, today announced the sixth expansion team for the 2004-2005 season - The Gwinnett Gwizzlies (Gwinnett being a great community in suburban Atlanta, GA). Newman stated, "This is our first team in the southeast and we are extremely excited about the city, the name and the ownership group that has been assembled. It should be a very successful ABA team."

When asked about the name "Gwizzlies," team President Embry Malone said, "Actually, it was a typo - we meant to write Grizzlies, but somehow put the w in for the r - and we really liked it, especially since we're in Gwinnett. And wait until you see our logo - our Gwizzlie Bear should become as popular as Smoky."

Embry Malone has an interesting background. Currently an Atlanta businessman, he was formerly Asst Basketball Coach at Pepperdine University; former Head Coach at Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas and has coached in the NBA Summer Pro League in Long Beach, organized the 2004 Asian World Team in China, South Korea and Japan.

He is joined by Gerald Smith, an Atlanta-businessman who will serve as Vice-President of Operations and Phil Oliver and Tony Leonard who will work in Player Personnel and Marketing.Dennis Johnson, former NBA All-Star and Coach, will serve in an advisory position.

According to Malone, "We plan a press conference shortly at which time we will announce our venue, our coach and other plans including tryout camps to help identify some area players to complement the league draft later this summer."

Gwinnett brings to thirteen the number of teams announced for next season including present teams Juarez, Tijuana, Fresno, Long Beach, Las Vegas, New Jersey, and Kansas City along with expansion teams Nashville, Louisville, Portland, Pittsburgh and Little Rock. For more information, go to the Expansion Team page on the ABA Website (www.abalive.com).

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We've reached a new low in sports names. As if adding "zzz" to the end of a team name to make it "cool" and "rad" wasn't enough, now we're ushering in the era of mis-spelled team names. Perhaps some team could mesh both of these ideas together....perhaps calling themselves the SWOMPCATZZZZ
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