A Great (Sorta') Final Week

July 27th, 2023

With just a few exceptions, we wrapped up the regular season for the Summer 2023 season of the Tucson Basketball League. The exceptions are a handful of makeup games that will be played this coming week, games that are owed to teams that were forfeited to earlier in the season. I have spoken to people who run leagues in other cities and they all tell me that I'm crazy for doing that. Forfeits are unfortunate, but they happen. Makeup games are expensive. They're part of the reason the TBL has never turned a profit in 35 years.

Sunday was just like almost every other Sunday in the history of the League. We had a bunch of fun, well-played games with good sportsmanship throughout. I understand that the week before, with the two ridiculous incidents, was an aberration, something that almost never happens. But it shouldn't be almost never, it should be never. We're still getting rid of a few teams that just don't seem to understand why we're here.

On Sunday, I had a guy come up to me (he's on a team that never gives us any trouble). Somewhat nervously, he asked, "Tom, are you going to kick us out of the League?" I said, "No...Rob is." I'm pretty sure that I remembered to tell him that I was joking.

We had basketball royalty in the gym on Sunday. Sam Thomas, one of the most-popular players in the history of the Arizona Wildcats women's team and a WNBA player with the Phoenix Mercury, was in town and played for Ham, a team consisting of guys who work at the UA. She hit five threes and grabbed a couple huge rebounds on missed free throws. However, right at the buzzer ending the first half, Luke Fleming of the opposing Prestige Worldwide drained a 70-footer. And what was the final margin in the Prestige win? You guessed it--three points.

We have eight regular-season games on Sunday and 16 first-round playoff games. The teams playing in the playoff games all had a bye on the final week of the regular season and almost all of them are playing teams that they didn't play in the regular season. (The two exceptions to that are Skoden and Crossroad Select, which finished first in their respective Divisions and therefore earned first-round byes in the playoffs. It's going to take us two weeks to get in all of the first-round games and the entire month of August to finish the playoffs (we take a week of in the middle while the venue is re-doing the floor surfaces). I wanted to have as few playoff games as possible since the teams that don't win will have a long wait before the start of the next season.

Speaking of which, if you're interested in joining the League next season, please contact me via text or email. (If you call my phone, I almost never answer. Sorry.) I have a list of names somewhere on my computer, but just in case, if we have communicated in the recent past, please text me again to remind me of your team. Thanks.