While I’ve been so caught up seeing where free agents are signing in the NBA, I’ve wrongfully overlooked the American Basketball Association. Word out of Fort Worth, Texas is that the North Texas Fresh, an ABA expansion team set to begin play in the 2009-10 season, is close to signing Isaiah Rider.
“I am just thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a player of his caliber in to better our current players who want the opportunity that J.R. has had in his NBA playing days,” says Jay Bowdy, Owner/CEO of the Fresh.
“We are making moves necessary to better our franchise. Rider is someone who I feel I can trust to bring in and make a positive impact for these players and the organization with his experience, knowledge and understanding of the professional level of basketball. Hopefully we can come to a mutual agreement on things and add something great to our phenomenal training camp roster that we have already.”
While no one has probably seen Rider play since the early stages of the 2001-02 season, according to his agent, he can do everything but replicate the 1994 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
“He can’t do the in-between the legs anymore, but he can do everything else,” says Joe Lee, Rider’s agent.
For a guy who averaged 16.7 points per game for his career, what kind of work could he do in the ABA this season?