Slammed too soon

March 05, 2002 7:15 AM
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Las Vegas media like saying “we told you so” because they wasted little time taking cheap shots on the Slam.

The newest member of the city’s sports scene is a gallant, if not futile, attempt to put bodies into the Cox Pavilion and prove that a triple-A pro league called the American Basketball Association could make it in Las Vegas.

The crowd, announced at 501, showed up for the team’s first-ever home game last week. For the record, the Slam won. Big deal. The fact is that 501 people came out to watch. One columnist claimed the turnout was less than 200. Either way, it shows again that Las Vegas will simply not support anything less than a major league team. And, we don’t have any guarantees that a big league franchise will be successful.

However, it’s unfair to slam this franchise based upon other previous failures. To enter a city whose media has been waiting for the autopsy results to arrive, was a disservice to all the people who tried to make the franchise succeed.

One can’t blame the owners of the Slam for wanting to come to Las Vegas. There is so much to gain from the entertainment side. However, anything less than the NBA or NHL won’t cut it in this town. Forget about the major leagues or NFL. That’s not in the cards.

Apparently, neither is the Slam. Maybe, Reggie Theus will one day realize his passion for becoming an NBA head coach. And perhaps there will be an NBA return for forward Cedric Ceballos, who proved by his 27-point effort last week that he still may have some value.

The Slam would have been better served to play their home games at The Orleans. However, the new site is currently under construction. The Slam will not likely be around long enough to consider switching venues.

The Slam won’t see a lot of coverage from GamingToday, since no race and sports book is taking action on the league’s games.

We will say that tickets for home contests are available at the Thomas & Mack ticket office and online at {tickets.com}.