AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Even native Coloradans might not be familiar with the Colorado Kings. They’re a pro basketball team based in Aurora, and even though basketball is a team game, in many ways the Kings are a one man show.
Meet Durrell Middleton, owner of the ABA Colorado Kings, not to be confused with Jackie Moon’s Flint Tropics from the Will Ferrell movie “Semi-Pro.”
“I watched about the first five minutes of ‘Semi-Pro’ last night and that was enough; too close to home,” Middleton said.
Middleton not only owns the Kings, he’s also the director of sales, the director of concessions, the executive general manager, the ticket manager, the equipment manager, the schedule maker, the chief engineer, and color analyst. The only thing Middleton doesn’t do is actually play.
It’s the essence of minor league basketball. They are former college players with other jobs.
“I just got the job at IBM. So I do that and also do this,” player Rashan Dickey said.
They get paid $300 a game.
“It’s been a great experience, get to play a little bit of professional basketball, and that’s great,” player Kurt Oghewale said.
It’s the ABA.
“The ABA, it’s a fun league. It’s very fast paced, up and down,” player Brendan Puckett said. “There’s a lot of scoring, so up and down, a lot of shots, run and gun.”
The ABA has something called the “13th Man Rule.” They can invite someone like Broncos defensive lineman Robert Ayers to actually play in a game.
“I don’t play defense, man,” Ayers joked. “I do defense in football and offense in basketball. I might get too many fouls, but that’s what I’m trying not to do.”
The ABA is all about offense. Players can score a four-pointer from half court. They can also goal tend — once the ball hits the rim it’s free game.
The crowd loves it and the crowd is part of the game.
“We talked about getting the players an opportunity to play, but now we’ve got a drum team that’s going to get an opportunity to perform,” Middleton said.
For the owner/general manager/color analyst/promotions manager, it’s just another day at the office.