TORONTO — Former basketball great Wilt Chamberlain joined a group of Canadian investors Wednesday in announcing a formal bid for a National Basketball Assn. franchise in the city that held the first NBA game ever played.
If approved, the multimillion-dollar venture would result in the first non-American NBA club in 40 years.
The 7-foot 1 1/2-inch Chamberlain said he was "as confident as I am tall" of building a winning club if the NBA approves the franchise.
Chamberlain and local investors said they paid a $100,000 NBA deposit and signed an agreement to base a club at Maple Leaf Gardens, home of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs.
The NBA board of governors will meet in Phoenix Oct. 20-22, and the issue of expansion is on the agenda. Also competing for franchises are groups in Minneapolis, Orange County, Calif., Charlotte, N.C., and Miami and Orlando, Fla.