World Basketball League (WBL) was a minor professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. It was founded as the International Basketball Association in November 1987, before changing its name prior to the 1988 season. One of the major differences between it and other leagues was that it had a height restriction. Players over 6 ft 5 in (1.95 m) were not allowed to play; this restriction was raised to 6 ft 7 in (2.0 m) in 1992.
Basketball Hall-of-Famer and Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy was one of the league's founders. Norm Drucker, a 25-year veteran referee with the National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association, and a former supervisor of officials for the NBA, served as the WBL's supervisor of officiating. One of the league's founders, Michael Monus, was eventually convicted of having embezzled $10 million to finance the league, from a publicly owned company he had founded, Phar-Mor. He was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.
In addition to games against other teams in the league, games were also played against international teams. The league had several of its games broadcast on television. In Canada, the games were broadcast on the CanWest Global System. In the United States, the games were broadcast on SportsChannel America. Mike Rice was the primary analyst for the SportsChannel broadcasts.
After the league folded in 1992, the surviving Canadian-based teams formed the National Basketball League. This league played two seasons before it folded as well.
Famous quotes containing the words world, basketball and/or league:
“But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always mastersomething that at times strangely wills and works for itself.... If the result be attractive, the World will praise you, who little deserve praise; if it be repulsive, the same World will blame you, who almost as little deserve blame.”
—Charlotte Brontë (18161855)
“Perhaps basketball and poetry have just a few things in common, but the most important is the possibility of transcendence. The opposite is labor. In writing, every writer knows when he or she is laboring to achieve an effect. You want to get from here to there, but find yourself willing it, forcing it. The equivalent in basketball is aiming your shot, a kind of strained and usually ineffective purposefulness. What you want is to be in some kind of flow, each next moment a discovery.”
—Stephen Dunn (b. 1939)
“Were the victims of a disease called social prejudice, my child. These dear ladies of the law and order league are scouring out the dregs of the town. Cmon be a glorified wreck like me.”
—Dudley Nichols (18951960)