Dan Issel Rumors
Insuramax Inc. has added basketball great Dan Issel as the company’s employee benefits business development director. “I have been so impressed with Insuramax and their continued passion for serving the Louisville community,” Issel said in a news release announcing the move. “I am thrilled to be a part of the team and look forward to working with my clients to find the best fit for their insurance needs.”
While decisions on when and where are probably years away, Silver’s statement revived hope that a professional basketball franchise might eventually land in Louisville more than four decades after the demise of the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels. “I have not talked to the commissioner, but I was obviously excited to hear his comments,” said Dan Issel, president of the NBA2LOU organization. “We’ve been saying for the last couple months that (expansion) almost seems inevitable when you look at the financial health of the NBA and what they’ve had to go through with the bubble in Orlando and no fans or very few fans starting out this season.”
Dan Issel: My teammate and friend Bird Averitt left us for heaven today. He was a great player and was in a tragic car wreck 25 years ago that left him partially paralyzed. He was a good man and fought so hard. I will miss him. RIP Bird
Dan Issel, six-time ABA All-Star, Basketball Hall of Famer: That book really increased the interest in ABA, and the great thing about Loose Balls is all those stories are 100 percent correct. You might not believe it, but really they’re all true. I’d tell people I think the ABA may be more popular today than when we were actually in existence. Terry’s book certainly had a lot to do with that.
The KFC Yum! Center now sits on the Louisville waterfront with all of the bells and whistles of a typical NBA arena, but no professional tenant. The trouble, as former Colonels legend and current NBA2LOU president Dan Issel explains, was a lack of interest on the NBA’s part. “As we got into it, we found out that expansion really wasn’t anything, it wasn’t as inevitable as everybody felt,” Issel said. “In fact, I called the commissioner and he said ‘Dan I really appreciate it, but I’m not even taking any meetings on expansion.'” This has been the NBA’s official stance for over a decade. The league has not expanded since welcoming the Charlotte Bobcats in 2004, giving it an even 30 teams.
As COVID-19 takes its toll on professional sports, as money grows tight and certainty scarce, the possibility of NBA expansion or relocation becomes increasingly plausible. “The quickest way for the owners to make up any shortfall in revenue is expansion,” said Dan Issel, president of NBA2LOU. “Those expansion fees would be sizable and they don’t have to split that with the players.”
That the situation is fluid “is more true now than it’s been in decades,” says J. Bruce Miller, Louisville’s long-time NBA point man. Granted, Louisville still looks like a long shot. The University of Louisville continues to control the most significant revenue streams at the KFC Yum Center and is poorly positioned to start making concessions to an NBA owner amid layoffs and budget cuts. Meanwhile, modern arenas in Vegas and Kansas City are unencumbered by leases that could cause conflict with an NBA tenant.