KU destroyed Northeastern in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but that shouldn’t stop us from making fun of the real issue at hand here and that is the fact that these games are being played in Salt Lake City, home of the most inexplicably named professional team in America. Today, we rate the players to the names of relocated professional American sports franchises. And just for clarity, the higher the star, the stupider the lack of team name change is.
5 Stars: Utah Jazz
No brainer. I can’t think of a team that needs a name change more than the Utah Jazz. The team name made sense in its inception in New Orleans of course, but Salt Lake? Not sure they had/have much of a jazz scene there. The uniforms are cool though.
Dedric Lawson. Just dominant. He could basically do whatever he wanted down there and he took advantage. Finished with 25 and 11, and honestly, it could’ve been much, much more.
4.5 Stars: Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles is not known for lakes. Maybe it was a lot harder back in the old days to completely change the name and logo of a sports team. That must be the issue.
Devon Dotson was the engine that made KU run. He could get around the Northeastern guards whenever he wanted. Finished with 18 points.
KJ Lawson. Man, he was great off the bench today. He finished with 13 points, and if he can be a factor against Auburn, KU’s chances just got better.
4 Stars: Tennessee Oilers
This non-name change was the most inexplicable, really. I happened in the late 90’s when teams knew the benefits of marketing and “branding.” I will admit that I like this name better than Titans though. Titans is generic, Oilers is cool....for a team in Houston or Edmonton.
Marcus Garrett. When he entered the game in the first half and KU went small, the game completely changed.
3.5 Stars: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are such an institution that many forget that they are a relocated team. And sure, the name doesn’t make any sense, but as it is with almost all of the teams that moved in that era, it works for some reason.
Ochai Agbaji. Needed points late in mop-up time to get up to 13, but perhaps the threes that fell will boost his confidence. That would be nice.
3 Stars: Calgary Flames
They used to be the Atlanta Flames but moved to the more hockey crazed Calgary early in their existence. I’m sure something (not the whole city) caught fire once in Alberta. Anyway, they get extra points for a sweet assistant captain patch that uses the old Atlanta logo.
The rest of the team fits here. Quentin Grimes hit a key three that jumpstarted KU’s second half run, Charlie Moore wasn’t terrible, Mitch Lightfoot did the things you’d expect him to do, and it wasn’t David McCormack’s fault that this game wasn’t made for him. I wish that the walk ons could’ve gotten more minutes.
2 Stars: Sacramento Kings
They lost the alliteration that was great with Kansas City Kings, but improved upon the stupidly hyphenated Kansas City-Omaha Kings.
1 Star: Memphis Grizzlies
Not offensive. Bears could live in Memphis. It’s just as likely as bears living in metro Vancouver which is where the team came from.