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Championship and Dip: Mobile Revelers


Mobile Revelers

Credit: WorthPoint


The Mobile Revelers were one of the eight teams a part of the National Basketball Development League's (NBDL) first season (2001-02). Unfortunately, the Revelers would only stay in the NBDL for two seasons (2001-2003). However, within those two seasons, the Revelers exceeded expectations and left the NBDL while still on top.

The Mobile Revelers were based in Mobile, Alabama (hence the name). During the start of the NBDL (now known as the G-League), all of the teams were based in small cities in Southeastern states. In 2001, the population of Mobile was only 196,000.


The Mobile Revelers were owned by MVP Sports Entertainment. I've tried to find more info about MVP Sports Entertainment, but most likely, the company no longer exists. On Google, there is an 'MVP Sports Entertainment,' but it's an athlete and actor agency that started in 2018.


The team's name is based on Mardi Gras culture and history. Although Mardi Gras parades are usually associated with New Orleans, the tradition actually started in Mobile. Also, 'revelers' is a term for individuals who participate in Mardi Gras!

During the two seasons that the Mobile Revelers were in the NBDL, they were coached by Sam Vincent. If you're a long-time NBA fan, then you may have heard of Vincent. Vincent played in the NBA from 1985-1992 for the Boston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics, Chicago Bulls, and Orlando Magic. In 1986, Vincent would win a Championship with the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics!


After his seven seasons in the NBA, the first American team that Vincent would coach were the Mobile Revelers! After his two seasons with the Revelers, Vincent would also coach the:

  • Fort Worth Flyers (2005-06)

  • Dallas Mavericks - Assistant Coach (2006-07)

  • Charlotte Bobcats (2007-08)

Now that you know a bit about the Mobile Revelers let's look at their two-season stint in the NBDL!

 

Table of Contents:

 

2001-02: First Season

Considering that there were eight teams in the NBDL in the 2001-02 season, the Mobile Revelers were an extremely average team. They went 30-26 (53.6 W/L%) and finished fourth in the league. Their offensive rating was ranked fourth at 99.5, and their defensive rating was ranked third at 97.7.


Although the Revelers were overwhelmingly average in terms of their regular-season record, offensive, and defensive rating, their PPG, OPPG, and Pace would say otherwise. The team had the second-worst PPG (76.3) but the best OPPG (74.9). The team's Pace was also the worst at 90.8.

Out of the 22 players that played for the Mobile Revelers, only TWO of them played every regular-season game; Eugene Edgerson and Jason McCutcheon. FIVE players played from than 50 games:

  • Isaac Fontaine: 52 Games

  • Rashad Phillips and Jamario Moon: 53 Games

  • Derek Hood: 54 Games

  • Nick Sheppard: 55 Games

The top three players for the Mobile Revelers were Isaac Fontaine, Rashad Phillips, and Derek Hood. Technically speaking, it's Fontaine, Phillips, and John Strickland, but Strickland only played twelve regular-season games, so it seemed unfair to put him as one of the Revelers' top players. The 'Big 3' averaged:

Isaac Fontaine:

17.4 Points, 3.1 Rebounds, 2.1 Assists, 0.8 Steals, and 0.3 Blocks

46.6 FG%, 42.4 3P%, 90.5 FT%

30 Minutes

Rashad Phillips:

12.5 Points, 1.5 Rebounds, 3.7 Assists, 0.8 Steals

38.9 FG%, 35.7 3P%, 86.5 FT%

25 Minutes


Derek Hood:

10.2 Points, 8.7 Rebounds, 1.3 Assists, 0.7 Steals, and 0.4 Blocks

51.8 FG%, 70.9 FT%

27 Minutes


Out of the Big 3, the player with the most successful NBA career was Isaac Fontaine. In 2001-02, Fontaine played six games with the Memphis Grizzlies. Those six games were very uneventful. The only stat that Fontaine averaged more than one in was points. His shooting was also awful. He shot 21.4% from the field and 66.7% from the free-throw line.


Fontaine's most points in those six games was in his second game when the Grizzlies faced the Atlanta Hawks. In this game, Fontaine put up 8/2/1 and shot 66.7% from the field.

Yes... out of the three, Fontaine had the most successful NBA career. Rashad Phillips didn't even play in the NBA, and Derek Hood only played two games with the Charlotte Hornets. Within those two games, he had three field-goal attempts and missed each one. The only stat he recorded while in the NBA was ONE rebound.


Although none of them had successful NBA careers, they were still some of the best in terms of the NBDL. Fontaine led the league in PPG (17.4) and free-throw percentage (90.5%). He was also on the All-NBDL First Team. In addition, Hood was selected to the All-NBDL Second Team!


The 2001-02 Mobile Revelers' player with the most successful NBA career was Anthony Johnson. Johnson's time with the Revelers was short. He only played fifteen regular-season games with the Revelers and was the fourth-leading scorer.

Johnson's NBA career was much longer than his NBDL career. He played in the NBA for thirteen years and played for seven different teams:

  • Atlanta Hawks: 5 Seasons

  • Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic: 3 Seasons

  • Sacramento Kings and New Jersey Nets: 2 Seasons

  • Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers: 1 Season

Within those thirteen years, Johnson averaged:


5.6 Points, 1.7 Rebounds, 2.9 Assists, 0.7 Steals, and 0.1 Blocks

41.4 FG%, 35.6 3P%, 76.4 FT%

20 Minutes


As for the playoffs, it didn't go so well for the Memphis Revelers. The Revelers were against the first-seeded North Charleston Lowgators in the first round. Unfortunately, the Revelers would lose 1-2. Although the Lowgators were the first seed, the Revelers should have been able to beat them.


The Revelers had FOUR players average more than ten points per game:

  • Isaac Fontaine: 15.0 Points

  • Rashad Phillips: 12.7 Points

  • Derek Hood: 10.3 Points

  • Lawrence Moten: 10.3 Points

On the other hand, the only player that averaged more than ten points per game on the North Charleston Lowgators was Sedric Webber (16.4). However, this information might be wrong as I can't find player's stat-lines for a specific series/game.


2002-03: How?

Mobile Revelers - Isaac Fontaine

Credit: AL.com


In the 2002-03 NBDL season, the Mobile Revelers went 26-24 (52.0 W/L%) and finished second. Somehow, the Revelers ended up with a worse record than last season but ranked higher. That's because two other teams also ended up going 26-24: the North Charleston Lowgators and the Roanoke Dazzle.

Like last season, the Revelers were average in terms of offensive and defensive rating. They ranked third in offensive rating (103.9) and fourth in defensive rating (102.6). The Revelers' PPG, OPPG, and Pace were ranked almost the same as last season. They had the third-lowest PPG (83.5), second highest OPPG (82.5), and second-lowest pace (95.0).

Out of the 21 players who played for the Mobile Revelers, only Ernest Brown, and once again, Eugene Edgerson played every regular-season game. FOUR players played from than 40 games:

  • Rod Grizzard: 49 Games

  • Derek Hood and Isaac Fontaine: 48 Games

  • Shea Seals: 46 Games

The Mobile Revelers' top three players were Cedric Henderson, Isaac Fontaine, and Shea Seals this season. The only player from last season that stayed a top-three player for the Mobile Revelers was Isaac Fontaine.

Rashad Phillips ended up playing overseas for the ALM Evreux Basket, a French professional basketball team. On the other hand, Derek Hood didn't improve or get worse. It's just that the Revelers acquired better players. Hood was probably around the fifth-sixth best player on the team. The 'Big 3' averaged:

Cedric Henderson:

15.3 Points, 3.8 Rebounds, 1.7 Assists, 1.3 Steals, and 0.6 Blocks

38.1 FG%, 26.2 3P%, 78.2 FT%

28 Minutes

Isaac Fontaine:

11.6 Points, 2.3 Rebounds, 2.1 Assists, 0.9 Steals

42.0 FG%, 44.2 3P%, 84.1 FT%

25 Minutes


Shea Seals:

11.3 Points, 2.8 Rebounds, 1.2 Assists, 0.8 Steals, and 0.2 Blocks

36.5 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 74.6 FT%

22 Minutes


For some reason, there were not All-NBDL teams this season, so no awards for any of the Big 3. The only notable 'award' was that Fontaine led the league in three-point percentage (44.2%).

Out of the Big 3, the player with the most successful NBA career was Cedric Henderson. Unlike Fontaine, Henderson's NBA career was before his NBDL career. Henderson played six seasons in the NBA. Five for the Cleveland Cavaliers and one for the Golden State Warriors.

His best season was in the 1997-98 NBA season when he was a rookie. Henderson averaged 10/4/2 and a steal while shooting 48.0% from the field and 71.6% from the free-throw line. This stat-line would be good enough for Henderson to be selected to the All-Rookie Second Team.


However, after this season, it all went downhill. Every stat besides assists continuously got worse. For example, here was his PPG and RPG each season:

  • 1997-98: 10.1 Points and 4.0 Rebounds

  • 1998-99: 9.1 Points and 3.0 Rebounds

  • 1999-00: 5.4 Points and 2.3 Rebounds

  • 2000-01: 4.3 Points and 1.6 Rebounds

  • 2001-02: 3.0 Points and 0.3 Rebounds

Henderson had one playoff appearance with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1997-98 NBA season. Unfortunately, it wasn't a long playoff run as the Cavaliers would lose 1-3 against the Indiana Pacers in the first round. For some reason, Henderson was given 39 minutes of playing time throughout this series even though he only averaged 8/4/3 while shooting 39.3% from the field.

As for Shea Seals (since we talked about Fontaine earlier), like Henderson, Seals' NBA career was also before his NBDL career. However, unlike Henderson, Seals would only play four games in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers.

In Seals' last game in the NBA, he only played four minutes but somehow managed to shoot 0/6 from the field. On the bright side, he did score a free throw, grabbed three rebounds, and recorded a steal.


Out of everybody on the 2002-03 Mobile Revelers' roster, the player with the most successful NBA career was Rafer Alston. His best season in the NBA was during the 2003-04 NBA season with the Miami Heat. He averaged:

14.2 Points, 3.5 Rebounds, 6.4 Assists, 1.5 Steals, and 0.1 Blocks

41.4 FG%, 35.7 3P%, 74.0 FT%

34 Minutes

It's not surprising that Alston ended up having the most successful NBA career since when he did play for the Mobile Revelers, he averaged 16/4/10 while shooting 45.2% from the field and 46.2% from the three-point line.


As for the playoffs, it went EXTREMELY well for the Mobile Revelers. In the first round, they had to face the North Charleston Lowgators again. This time, the Revelers would win, 2-0. In the second, the NBDL Finals, the Revelers were against the first-seeded Fayetteville Patriots. The Revelers would win, 2-1, making them the second-ever NBDL Champions!


Their post-season success this season was just due to the players' improved play in the playoffs. Here were the top four performers for the Mobile Revelers in the playoffs:

  • Cedric Henderson: 18.5 Points, 3.0 Rebounds, 2.8 Assists

  • Isaac Fontaine: 15.8 Points, 4.8 Rebounds, 2.4 Assists

  • Derek Hood: 13.4 Points, 10.2 Rebounds, 1.4 Assists

  • Shea Seals: 12.2 Points, 2.8 Rebounds, 2.0 Assists

Another reason for the Mobile Revelers' post-season success was due to the Fayetteville Patriots' missing their best player, Devin Brown. Brown was the MVP and Rookie of the Year this season but only played two games during the playoffs.

After winning a Championship, the NBDL decided to contract/kick out the Mobile Revelers in June 2003. Imagine winning a Championship just to get kicked out by the league. The Columbus Riverdragons, which ended up going 18-28 in the 2002-03 NBDL season, still got to stay the following season.

The most likely reason for the Mobile Revelers being kicked out was probably due to money. As said in the beginning, not many people live in Mobile, Alabama.



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