It's Official

Friday, August 28, 2009

I shelled out the money for season tickets to the BayHawks, meaning I'll be in attendance for many more than the two games I saw last year, and ideally all 24 of them. Less than three months until the season tips off!

I Just Want to Dance

Thursday, August 27, 2009

OK, so that's a lie. As my girlfriend can attest, I generally do anything in my power to avoid dancing. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate it, especially since dancing and basketball are more connected than you might think.

For starters, there's the NCAA Tournament aka The Big Dance. There's the infamous Sam Cassell Testicle Dance (0:40 in this clip), Shaq at last year's all-star game and, of course, who could forget Mark Madsen celebrating at the Lakers' 2002 championship parade?

So yes, it's true that anyone can dance, but it takes some serious skills to dance well.

With that in mind, the Erie BayHawks announced today that dance team tryouts will be held Sunday, September 20, 5 pm at the Dance Vibe Studio, 2307 West 12th Street in Erie.

Interested dancers should submit a completed application, available at Dance Vibe, the BayHawks office or online at, plus a headshot photo and $25 registration fee.

But if you're more like me and prefer to watch as others do the dancing, here are a few YouTube dance clips to hold you over until the new BayHawks dance team debuts later this year:

  • Evolution of Dance
    Everyone's probably seen this clip by now, but it's a classic. And there's now a part two as well!
  • JK Wedding Entrance
    Another popular FWD e-mail video showing the lighter side of marriage.
  • Napoleon Dynamite Dance
    There's a good 2,000 or so people trying to replicate this unforgettable scene.
  • Beyonce
    Need I say more?
  • ...and one for the ladies
    BlogTalkBayHawk aims to please all comers
  • 80s Dance
    Finally, for those who prefer their dances to be retro, here's some middle school teachers getting down as best they can (on a basketball court!)

Let's Make a Date

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm sure I'm not the only D-League fan who doubles as an NFL fan (Go Raiders!) Anyway, if you're like me, you're ready to put the Vick and Favre stories aside and watch some real football or at least some fantasy football. In any case, the offseason/preseason seems to drag on forever.

Unfortunately, it's not much better for the D-League where the media coverage is a fraction of a fraction of what the NFL gets. The offseason/preseason is still filled with dead spots and waiting for the games. The good news is that we're three months and a day away from tipoff of the 2009-10 D-League season. The bad news is that we're still three months and a day away from tipoff of the 2009-10 D-League season.

So, here's a few things to look forward to in the coming months, free agent tryouts around the league. These were all the dates/teams that I saw listed on their official sites. If anyone knows other teams' dates, feel free to chime in.

September 2: D-League Expansion Draft for Maine and Springfield

September 12-13: Maine Red Claws Free Agent Tryouts

September 19-20: Erie BayHawks Free Agent Tryouts

October 3: Austin Toros Free Agent Tryouts

October 10: Iowa Energy Free Agent Tryouts

October 11: Austin Toros Free Agent Tryouts

October 24: Iowa Energy Free Agent Tryouts

October 31: Iowa Energy Free Agent Tryouts

November 27: D-League season opens

My Triumphant Return

Monday, August 24, 2009

I am back from Myrtle Beach, sunburn and all. I promise to get back to writing something worthwhile as soon as I find a bottle of Aloe gel big enough to get this burning and itching on my back and shoulders under control.

In the meantime, I'm trying to come up with some money to buy season tickets so I can see the BayHawks games in person. Any wealthy readers out there? Donations are welcome.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FYI I'm on my way to Myrtle Beach at the time of this posting (love being able to set the post date ahead of time). Anyway as I'll be on the beach and enjoying a Counting Crows concert, I will not be posting any updates the rest of the week.

So, take this time to engulf yourself in Michael Vick, Brett Favre, and fantasy football scouting. I'll be back next week hopefully with some relevant D-League posts (or at least a nice tan).

Until then, here are some fun time-wasting Web sites to make the wait for my return much more bearable.

D-League Links

Things are a little quiet on the BayHawks front these days, but that doesn't mean there is no D-League stories to read. Feast your eyes upon these links:

  • Over at Ridiculous Upside,
  • two-week training camp expected to start Nov. 13.

  • The Ultimate Flash Fan Blog breaks down the Utah Flash's schedule.

An Interview with Jarvis Gunter

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jarvis Gunter played in 38 games with the Erie BayHawks last season, averaging 12.6 minutes per game. He shot a team high 58.1 percent from the field, and his rebounding rate of 12.95 rebounds per 48 minutes was second highest on the team.

The former Arkansas-Pine Bluff forward, hoping to play for the BayHawks again this season, was nice enough to answer a few questions about his first season in Erie, his offseason activities and his hopes for the future.

Had you ever been to Erie before last season?
No, not before I came for tryouts in October.

How would you assess last season, your first year playing in the D-League?
It was a great learning experience. I learned how different it is from the college and how good it was playing against former NBA players, former great college players, and overseas players.

What's your favorite moment from last season?
My favorite moment was getting the game winning rebound against the L.A. D-Fenders at home and becoming player of the game.

Have you kept in touch with any of your former BayHawks teammates?
Yeah, I've actually seen Tejay [Anderson] , Oliver [Lafayette], and Ivan [Harris] when I was in their hometown. I also keep in contact with Maureece [Rice], Geary [Claxton], and Darian [Townes] by Facebook or MySpace. I text all of them every once in a while.

What did you learn from Coach Treloar?
I've learned how to be a student of the game by studying game film to get better, reading sports books, and just keep trying to get better day by day.

What have you been doing this summer to improve your game?
I've been lifting wieghts, doing a lot of stretching, shooting and trying to extend my range, ball handling, pool workouts, and even started yoga.

What basketball players influenced you growing up/who do you model your game after?
I've always admired Kevin Garnett, not just because he's a great player but also because of what pushes him to get better—his competitiveness, how he pushes his teammates, and how bad he wanted to be a champion.

Finally, what are your plans for next season? Are you going to return to the D-League or are you looking elsewhere?
I plan on returning to Erie for next season and helping Erie win a title by any means necessary.

Erie BayHawks 2009-10 Schedule: At First Glance

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things have been slow on the D-League front since the end of Summer League, but that changed today when the D-League released its official schedule for the 2009-10 season, which tips off Friday, November 27.

Check out the BayHawks' schedule or view the complete D-League schedule.

The first thing that sticks out about the new schedule is that it makes no pretense of being a balanced schedule. Whereas the NBA schedule is pretty formulaic—one home and away with each team from the other conference, more games played against divisional opponents—the D-League schedule is a bit less predictable.

So it is that of 15 possible opponents, Erie plays only 13 of them with no games scheduled against Los Angeles or Reno. The unbalanced scheduling doesn't end there, however. Twenty of Erie's 50 games (that's 40 percent of the games for you math whiz kids) will be played against either Fort Wayne or Iowa. Meanwhile Erie will play just one game against five teams: Albuquerque, Austin, Bakersfield, Idaho, and Utah.

I understand the rationale that this saves teams on travel costs, and in a tough economy, it makes sense for a league, especially a minor league where teams may be struggling even harder to turn a profit, to make some changes. But as a fan, it is a little frustrating to know that I won't have the opportunity to see a handful of D-League players in person this season.

Also, while I like the idea behind the thinking that they can create regional rivalries by heavily scheduling nearby teams against one another, but I'm just not convinced that these rivalries will catch on given the lack of continuity that tends to exist from one season to the next in minor league sports. Trust me, I'd like to be proven wrong, but consider me a skeptic on this one.

For the record, here's the breakdown of Erie's games for the upcoming 2009-10 season:

  • 10 vs. Fort Wayne
  • 10 vs. Iowa
  • 7 vs. Maine
  • 5 vs. Springfield
  • 4 vs. Dakota
  • 3 vs. Sioux Falls
  • 2 vs. Tulsa
  • 2 vs. Rio Grande Valley
  • 1 vs. Albuquerque
  • 1 vs. Austin
  • 1 vs. Bakersfield
  • 1 vs. Idaho
  • 1 vs. Utah
The new schedule also comes with the announcement that the D-League will have two conferences this year as opposed to the three-division format it used last season. Again, in an effort to keep team travel expenses in mind, the D-League did its best to separate the conferences geographically into the Eastern and Western Conference. The only problem is that the league was split nine in the west and seven in the east (thank you Springfield and Maine expansion). And though I'm no cartographer, Sioux Falls could certainly make a case that it could be in the West as well since it is—longitudinally speaking—in a location about as far west as the teams playing in Texas.

Anyway, this seven to nine discrepancy might not seem like a big deal, but as Ridiculous Upside's Jon L astutely noted in his breakdown of the schedule release/conference realignment earlier today, the new team in Frisco, Texas, next season is likely to be added to the Western Conference as well, and having 10 out of 17 teams in one conference just seems excessive. But I guess that's a problem for next year's decision makers.

In the meantime...

One thing I do like about the schedule is the weekend games catering to families. The home game breakdown is as follows: 6 Friday games, 6 Saturday games, 5 Wednesday games, 3 Sunday games, 2 Thursday games, and 2 Tuesday games. Hopefully playing more games on weekend dates will bring in more fans to watch the games.

I was also pleased and relieved to read that NBA FutureCast will continue to stream all of the D-League games FREE, so if I can't see the D-Fenders and Bighorns in person, I can check them out online if I'm so inclined.

So yes, there are some question marks heading into the new season, but more importantly, two big questions have been put to rest. When does the season start? November 27. When is Erie's first home game? Saturday, December 12. (Yes, they begin the year with a four-game roadtrip before hosting Maine for three straight.)

The bottom line is that while the schedule may not be perfect, it gives D-League fans something to look forward to. Let the countdown begin: 105 days until the D-League and the Erie BayHawks are back in action!

D-League Twitter Search, Former BayHawks on Twitter

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Facebook and MySpace have their place in the ever-entangled (World Wide) Web of social media, but when it comes to tracking celebrities and athletes directly these days, Twitter seems to be the most popular destination.

Numerous NBA stars have made headlines through Twitter. From Shaquille O'Neal (@THE_REAL_SHAQ) informing the public of his plans to drop by the White House to the follower contest between Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) and Charlie Villanueva (@CV31) to Kevin Love (@kevin_love) breaking the news that the Timberwolves were firing Kevin McHale, there is no shortage of NBA tweets to be read and enjoyed.

But what about the D-League?

Like all things D-League, it's hard to find a comprehensive listing. Even the fantastic compilation of basketball-related Twitter accounts found at fails to list any D-League teams/players, although it at least includes the D-League's own official Twitter account (@nbadleague).

If anyone knows of an existing list of D-League-related Twitter accounts, please pass along the link in the comments. In the meantime, here's the (admittedly very short) list of BayHawks-related Twitter accounts to go ahead and follow.

(Shameless self-promotion? You betcha.)
@ErieBayHawks (Official Erie BayHawks)

As far as I can tell, the only former BayHawk on Twitter right now is 2008-09 All-D-League 1st teamer Erik Daniels (@danielserik). But if I missed someone that didn't come up through Twitter's rudimentary "Find People" search, please fill me in.

Which city/location is the best in the D-League?

Monday, August 10, 2009

NBA Roster Spots and the D-League Trickle Down Effect

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On TrueHoop today, Henry Abbott wrote a post titled "Ten Summer Stories to Watch." The post dealt with NBA topics, but the tenth story had some definite D-League influence:

10. Unemployed NBA Players
There won't exactly be bread lines, but some players you watched play in the NBA last season will be looking for work somewhere else soon.

To save money, many teams (even the wealthy Lakers) have decided to carry short rosters -- just 13 players, instead of the allowed 15. On opening night, there could be 30 or 40 fewer NBA jobs than a year ago. At the same time, dozens of draftees and imported free agents (everyone from David Andersen with the Rockets to new Bull Jannero Pargo) have already filled roster spots.

As of this morning there are 381 signed players. If every team sticks to a roster of 13, just 24 more will get contracts. (As many as 71 could get jobs -- that would put every roster at the maximum 15). Meanwhile Chad Ford lists 40 notable free agents, from David Lee to Morris Almond. The full list is at 70.

Do the math. Forced retirement is a quiet reality of every summer. This year, the musical chairs could be especially harsh.

Of course, every unsigned free agent isn't going to take the forced retirement route. Some will find employment overseas. And others, presumably, will seek refuge in the form of a D-League contract.

No, a D-League salary won't pay all the bills the way a player's expired NBA contract once did, but the opportunity of playing for a D-League team that competes in a league using NBA rules, scouted by NBA scouts does have some natural appeal.

Traditionally, the D-League has been a young man's league. It is, after all, known as a development league. But if the D-League is ever going to develop itself into a true minor league system a la Major League Baseball, it's going to have to be more flexible and adapt to the changing times.

As more veteran players feel the squeeze of downsized NBA rosters, might there be a place for them in the D-League? I certainly hope so. It wouldn't hurt the league's credibility or marketability to have a few more former NBA players on the court in each D-League game.

I don't think the D-League needs to sacrifice its primary role of being a feeder and development system for players looking to get that call-up to the big show, but I also don't see anything wrong with expanding the league's role to accompany more players looking to rebound after being cut and making it back to the league.

Whether the end-of-the-bench cuts head overseas or enter the D-League remains to be seen, but it's definitely a story worth following as the summer winds down and we draw nearer to the opening of preseason training camps.

Looking at Erie's NBA Affiliates (Cavs, Raptors) 2009-10 Schedules

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The NBA schedule is out for next season. No word yet on when to expect the D-League schedule, but I'll pass it along if and when I hear anything. In the meantime, here's a quick perusal of interesting dates on the calendar for the NBA affiliates of the Erie BayHawks, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors.


27th, Boston at Cleveland (TNT): The two teams that most people had pegged as the Eastern Conference's representative in the 2009 Finals are back in that same role this year (along with defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando). Add Shaq to the Cavs and Rasheed Wallace to the Celtics and the teams get, well, older. Maybe better too. In any case, it's an intriguing matchup worthy of opening night status.

28th, Cleveland at Toronto: The BayHawks affiliates meet for the first time on the second night of the season. For Toronto, it's the season opener. For Cleveland, it's the second night of a back-to-back. LeBron and company will no doubt look forward to tangling with Hedo Turkoglu's new crew (and relish the lack of a Dwight Howard north of the border).


1st, Orlando at Toronto: Toronto welcomes back one of its least favorite former players, Vince Carter with his new Magic teammates. Will Carter's presence be enough to make Orlando forget about Turkoglu's key role getting Orlando to the Finals last season?

6th, Cleveland at New York (ESPN): LeBron's last game at MSG in a visitor's uniform? That's what some will say, but after playing against the Knicks, LeBron may not see much temptation on that roster.

7th, Toronto at Dallas: This game is the second game in a November stretch where the Raptors will play 7 out of 8 games on the road. It's also a chance for the Raptors to reacquaint themselves with Shawn Marion, and for free-agent-to-be Chris Bosh to visit his hometown team.

11th, Cleveland at Orlando (ESPN): The Cavs get their first small chance at revenge for last year's Eastern Conference Finals, though the Magic won't look quite the same with new faces like Carter, Ryan Anderson, and Brandon Bass, as well as the departures of Turkoglu, Courtney Lee, and Rafer Alston.


25th, Cleveland at Los Angeles Lakers (ABC): Was there any doubt that this was going to be the Christmas Day feature? Shaq-Kobe, LeBron-Kobe, defending NBA champs versus the team on the verge trying to get over the hump. Oh, and don't forget about Ron Artest spreading holiday cheer either. This one is must see TV, and it should be a good basketball game, too. Not to mention David Stern's dream NBA Finals matchup.

9th, Toronto at Milwaukee: Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan, the 9th overall pick, squares off against Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings, the 10th overall pick. Both players are young athletic players who were in high school just two years ago.


8th, Cleveland at Denver (ESPN): In another of Cleveland's 29 nationally televised games, LeBron faces fellow 2003 draftee Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets in a battle of the two teams that fell just short of a championship appearance last season.

15th, Toronto at New York (ESPN): Unlike the Cavs, the Raptors are not a media darling. This midseason visit to the Big Apple is the only national telecast for Toronto.

19th, Toronto at Cleveland: The second meeting of the BayHawks' affiliates occurs in the new decade. Welcome basketball 2010.


4th, Miami at Cleveland (TNT): Another 2003 star pays a visit to King James. This time its the one with the bragging rights of a championship ring, Dwyane Wade. There's also the subplot of Shaq versus (another) former team.

24th, Portland at Toronto: The Raptors play host to the Blazers, a team that features two players taken behind top pick Andrea Bargnani in the 2006 NBA Draft: LaMarcus Aldridge (2nd overall) and Brandon Roy (6th overall).

26th, Cleveland at Toronto: Let's not forget who else was part of that famous 2003 NBA Draft along with LeBron, Carmelo, and DWade. No, I'm not talking about Darko Milicic. I'm referring to the 4th overall selection, the Raptors' Chris Bosh.


8th, San Antonio at Cleveland: In a rematch of the 2007 NBA Finals, the Cavs play host to Tim Duncan and the Spurs. It's also a battle of the best big men of the previous decade between Duncan and Shaq.

9th, Toronto at Los Angeles Lakers: The Raptors begin a season-tying-long four-game roadtrip against the defending champions, a team Turkoglu may hold a bit of a grudge against.


6th, Toronto at Cleveland: The final meeting between Erie's affiliates happens in April in the final weeks of the regular season, and this matchup could have potential playoff implications.

11th, Orlando at Cleveland (ABC): The final Sunday of the regular season could be a pivotal matchup for the Cavs. This game could determine playoff seeding and give one team the upper hand heading into the postseason.

14th, New York at Toronto: The Raptors finish the season against the Knicks. Will this be a game with playoff implications or simply a look ahead to the future for rookies taken one after the other this summer, New York's 8th pick Jordan Hill and the Raptors' 9th pick, DeMar DeRozan?

Quick Links

Monday, August 3, 2009

A pair of quick links for your reading pleasure:

First, an article I missed from last week. John Krolik breaks down Darnell Jackson, who played in two games with the BayHawks last year, over at Cavs the Blog.

Also, Duane Rankin wrote a blog post on about the same issue I covered last week, the new business model of the Bakersfield Jam. Rankin's post confirmed what I had suspected—the BayHawks failed to turn a profit in year one of operation.

And in Cavaliers-related news, reports that former Kansas guard Russell Robinson has accepted an offer to attend preseason camp with the Cavs.

About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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