Montreal’s newest sports franchise, the Jazz
Published Monday, November 12, 2012 11:42PM EST
MONTREAL--The Matrix, the Royal, the Sasquatch and now the Montreal Jazz. This city just can’t seem to hold onto professional basketball teams, but players hope this new squad will stick around.
“One of the big differences is the league. The league is so legit. When you play away games, you can tell the league is serious. So, it's a big difference,” said Jazz forward Louis-Patrick Levros
The Jazz have replaced the Kebs as the province's only team in the National Basketball League, the current owners of the franchise until a proper ownership group is put in place.
“Every game was played last year, you got the website, everything was very serious which is the first time that I saw a league at that level to be so serious. All the players have to be cleared through Basketball Canada which means our league is well respected,” said Jazz General Manager Pascal Jobin.
“They put in hard work to get a team here in Montreal and hopefully we can continue doing it. So this year is very important for the city and the team,” said Jazz centre Sani Ibrahim.
With the exception of two players, the team is comprised entirely of Quebecers, something the league surely hopes will finally attract a loyal following.
“We are really happy with a group of hard charging Quebecois players,” said head coach Alejandro Hasbani
“For me it's definitely just a blessing. After I left Concordia, it's been three or four years since I haven't gotten anything. I've just been working. I miss the game of basketball and to have this opportunity I’m just blessed and I work every day just to be in this position,” said point guard Damian Buckley.
As for the product, fans will be pleasantly surprised, the Jazz have a good mix of speed, size and talent—something that will complement the team’s blue collar mentality.
“I think we're going to come out and play hard,” said Ibrahim. “That’s the most important thing. We’re probably not the best talent in the league but for sure we're going to play hard and get some wins.”