The voice on the other end of the phone could not disguise the disappointment he felt with the news that the Springfield Armor will be leaving Western Massachusetts.
"It really is" said, said Eric Reddy of Adams, who was the first Director of Sales for the NBA Development League team that just finished its fifth, and final year, at the MassMutual Center, "knowing all the work that was involved."
Armor team president Alex Schwerin could not comment on reports coming out of Michigan that the team has been sold, will be moved to Grand Rapids and will become a Detroit Pistons affiliate next year. The NBADL has also not commented officially on the sale and the move.
The Armor came to Springfield for the 2009-10 season as part of an NBADL expansion. The team was initially affiliated with the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. Coach Dee Brown, the former Boston Celtic, had a team made up of mostly locally-recruited players. There were few players assigned from the NBA teams.
That first team did have some local basketball ties on the court. Former University of Massachusetts players Maurice Maxwell, Dante Milligan and Chris Lowe all wore Armor uniforms, as did former University of Connecticut guard Craig Austrie.
"It's great [to be back in Western Massachusetts]," Lowe, who was recruited to UMass by former coach Travis Ford, said at the time. "Everybody was so excited for me to come back to Massachusetts."
The Armor are currently playing out the remainder of the 2013-14 season. They were 20-26 through Tuesday, and in almost five seasons had a record of 87-158. The team made the playoffs once, in 2011-12, in five seasons.
Reddy joined the Armor after spending time as Director of Sales for the America East Conference. He sold sponsorships and tickets for the club.
"The community and business leaders in Springfield really stepped up," he said. "I thought they were in a great place. Unfortunately, the reality is if you're not going to make money, it makes sense to sell it to the highest bidder."
To reach Howard Herman:
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman