Texas Rangers fans get a glimpse into the future of their favorite major-league team anytime they take in a game at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders. Did you know that the basketball equivalent to a minor league team is also right here in our very own backyard? It’s time you learn a little more about the Texas Legends. Just like the RoughRiders, they too call Frisco home.
The Legends are Born
The Texas Legends began as the Colorado 14ers in 2006. The 14ers disbanded in 2009 and the team relocated to Frisco. The team decided to let it’s new fan base decide on the team’s name, and “Legends” was selected as the winner.
The Texas Legends have had three head coaches, each of whom is legendary in their own right. Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman was the Legends’ inaugural head coach. Lieberman guided the Legends to their first and only playoff appearance. After Lieberman left, it was 1995’s NBA Coach of the Year, Del Harris, who took the reins. Today, former NBA (and Dallas Mavericks) star Eduardo Najera is calling the shots for the Texas Legends.
2013-2014 Player Spotlight
The Legends are off to a hot start in large part to SF Devin Ebanks and C/PF Melvin Ely.
Currently ranked as the D-League’s number one prospect, Forward Devin Ebanks is shooting 74.6% from the field and is third in the D-League in points per game, averaging 24.3. The Queens, New York, native saw time in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers over the last three seasons. Although slightly undersized to slide into the role of center, Ebanks is long enough to grab rebounds with ease while providing solid defense in the paint.
The Texas Legends are Ebanks’ third D-League team, as he has also starred for the Bakersfield Jam and the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Melvin Ely is something of the elder statesmen on the Legends’ roster. The former first round (12th pick) of the Los Angeles Clippers, the 35-year-old has spent time with five NBA teams since his rookie season in 2002-2003 with the aforementioned Clippers. Ely started 2012 playing in the Puerto Rico for the Brujos de Guayama. Seeking a career revival and a chance of cracking an NBA starting lineup once again, Ely is off to a terrific start with the Legends.
Through the Legends’ first ten games, Ely is averaging 15.1 points per game poured in 25 points in the Legends’ 127-118 win over the BayHawks last week. A versatile big man who can play center or work the court as a power forward, Ely brings NBA experience to the foray. Ely earned an NBA Championship ring for spending parts of the 2006-2007 season with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Texas Legends: The secret is out
Unless you had some serious free time (and more than a few frequent flyer miles) you weren’t able to catch the Mavericks’ top prospects live and in-person last weekend in Boise, Idaho. Fear not though, as you need travel no further than your own home or office. All Legends games are available to watch via their YouTube channel.
The Legends return home to Dr. Pepper Arena on Tuesday, January 7th to take on the Canton Charge. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. Be sure to check back here often, as each week Lifestyle Frisco will recap the previous weeks Legends’ games as they charge towards the postseason.