Today’s nominee comes from the king of insignificance himself, Brian S.: The Buffalo Sharks (formerly known as the Silverbacks and Rapids.)
When? The team was known as the Rapids for the 2005-06 season and the Silverbacks for 2006-07. After going on hiatus for a season, the team will return as the Sharks in November.
Where? The Rapids opened their inaugural season playing at the Flickinger Center, but the team was booted for failure to pay rent after only two games. The team spent the rest of the season playing in various high school gyms around the area (seriously) before finishing out at the Buff State Sports Arena. The Silverbacks played their games at Buff State, and the Sharks are slated to play at the Koessler Center.
Why? There wasn’t a pro basketball team in Western New York since the days of the Braves, so the original ownership was banking on the area being excited for a product that hadn’t been around for decades.
Wier and Robbie, disgusted with the ABA’s suits, sold the franchise to Vincent Lesh just five weeks before the start of the 2007-08 regular season, electing to start an expansion team with the Premier Basketball League (the Buffalo Dragons.) Lesh decided to put the team on hiatus for a year rather than rush into things, so he informed the fans and press the way the owner of any respectable pro franchise would: Through the team’s MySpace page (which no longer exists.) Lesh rebranded the team as the Sharks, and it remains to be seen if he can generate any sort of interest in the team for the upcoming season.
On the court, the roster has been sprinkled with a few names fans might recognize (Modie Cox, Tim Winn, Turner Battle (for a few games), and Kueth Duaney), but have largely been filled with no-namers. The team qualified for the playoffs both years, with the Silverbacks losing in the 2007 semifinals.
Regular Season: 54 Games Played; 27 Wins; 27 Losses; .500 Winning Percentage
Playoffs: 4 Games Played; 2 Wins; 2 Losses; .500 Winning Percentage
Why the Sharks/Silverbacks/Rapids should be Most Insignificant: The team literally spent a year bouncing around from high school gym to high school gym, looking for anyone that would let them play for a game. How can a nomad team be significant?
Why the Sharks/Silverbacks/Rapids should not be Most Insignificant: While virtually no one can tell you a damn thing about anything that has happened on the court, many are somewhat familiar with the cacophony of off-the-court incidents. Also, in the interest of fairness, Lesh hasn’t had a whole lot of time to right the ship, so some may argue that we need to give him a few seasons before deeming his franchise insignificant.
Any diehard Sharks fans out there? Let us know in the comments.