Julius Erving once played for the Virginia Squires.
It is back to the drawing board for those in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area hoping to eventually land a National Basketball Association franchise as Virginia Beach no longer has a partner to build an NBA facility. The municipality ended a deal with a local group who planned to put up a building. There really has not been much interest in putting a team in the largest United States market without a Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League or Major League Soccer team. In 2013, the then owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, the Maloof brothers visited the market and made some announcement that they were interested in moving to Virginia. Nothing ever materialized. In 1997, the then NBA Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn applied for a National Hockey League expansion franchise somewhere in the Hampton Roads market but the NHL was not interested.
The last time the Norfolk-Hampton area had a team was in the American Basketball Association. The Squires franchise played home games in Norfolk, Hampton, Richmond and Roanoke. The Squires franchise had some big name players including Julius Erving and George Gervin. The franchise always had money problems and shut down before the National Basketball Association took in four ABA teams in June, 1976, charging the franchises $3.2 million each which was a large sum of money then to enter the league. The National Basketball Association is not presently looking to expand although somewhere down the road that might happen. It seems that the NBA is taking a wait and see attitude with the hope Seattle, which is a perfect market from TV and corporate support, gets a new building or renovates the Sonics old arena, the Seattle Center Coliseum to a 21st century state of the art standard. Louisville backers also want a team Virginia Beach is out of the picture.
Seattle remains the best market available to the NBA.