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Anchorage Northern Knights

The Anchorage Northern Knights are one of the most unique stories in all of professional sports. The story is longer than we can say here, but they were started as more of a publicity stunt than team in the fall of 1977 when they joined the Eastern Basketball Association. Yes - EASTERN Basketball Association. The Knights joined the historically small and quiet league that was comprised of mostly teams from Pennsylvania and New York. Anchorage's closest rival would be the Allentown Jets, who played more than 4,000 miles away. 

Well, the stunt worked for a time. The additional of an Alaskan team to the EBA garnered national attention and the Knights became the pride of Alaska and attracted crowds of thousands to Anchorage West High School and the Civic Arena. In their first season, they would win 24 of 31 games. Their second season, they came close to a title before losing in the finals to the Rochester Zeniths. Finally, in their third season, they won the CBA title (as the EBA had re-branded) in 1979-80 and brought a championship home to Alaska. 

Unfortunately, interest in the Knights would wane and their mounting financial losses ended up crushing the team. While the publicity was good, the team had to cover expenses for eastern teams traveling out to Alaska and racked up losses financially despite on the court wins. They would fold after the 1981-82 season.