The Continental Basketball Association (CBA) was the unofficial minor league of the National Basketball Association (NBA); it operated under the CBA name from 1978 until its end in 2009. The guard Brook Steppe was selected in the 1982 NBA draft by the Kansas City Kings, but would play on many NBA and CBA teams. Steppe is said to have nicknamed the CBA “Come Back Again”—a welcome after being dropped from an NBA club.
The CBA was also nicknamed the “Crazy Basketball Association.”
Wikipedia: Continental Basketball Association
The Continental Basketball Association (CBA) was a professional men’s basketball minor league in the United States.
The Continental Basketball Association was a professional basketball minor league from 1946 to 2009. It billed itself as the “World’s Oldest Pro Basketball League”, since its founding on April 23, 1946, pre-dated (by two months) the founding of the National Basketball Association. The league’s original name was the Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League; it fielded six franchises – five in Pennsylvania (Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Allentown, Lancaster, and Reading) – with a sixth team in New York (Binghamton, which moved in mid-season to Pottsville, Pennsylvania). In 1948, the league was renamed the Eastern Professional Basketball League. Over the years it would add franchises in several other Pennsylvania cities, including Williamsport, Scranton, and Sunbury, as well as teams in New Jersey (Trenton, Camden, Asbury Park), Connecticut (New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport), Delaware (Wilmington) and Massachusetts (Springfield).
For the 1970-71 season the league rebranded itself the Eastern Basketball Association, operating both as a professional northeastern regional league and as an unofficial feeder system to the NBA and ABA. The CBA’s first commissioner was Harry Rudolph (father of Mendy Rudolph, one of the first referees in the NBA). Steve A. Kauffman, currently a prominent basketball agent, succeeded Rudolph as Commissioner in 1975. Kauffman executed a plan to bring the Anchorage Northern Knights into the league beginning with the 1977-78 season. Kauffman kept the league name because he felt having a team in the Eastern league from Alaska might get the league additional notice and recognition. The establishment of the Anchorage franchise garnered national media attention, including a feature story in Sports Illustrated. The league was renamed the Continental Basketball Association the following season, eventually leading to expansion across the country. Kauffman served as Commissioner until 1978, when his Deputy Commissioner, Jim Drucker, took the reins.
Wikipedia: Brook Steppe
Michael Holbrook “Brook” Steppe (born November 7, 1959) is a retired American basketball player in the NBA. He was a 6’5” 190 lb (86 kg) shooting guard. Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Steppe played competitively from 1977 to 1982 at DeKalb Central Community College and Georgia Institute of Technology, and was selected with the 17th pick in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings.
He played five NBA seasons with as many teams until 1989.
22 April 1987, Rockford (IL) Register-Star, “Rockford fans created ‘time-capsule’ season in Lightning’s first year” by Judy Emerson, pg. 11A, col. 4:
“We sometimes call the CBA the Crazy Basketball Association or the Come Back Again league.”
(Steve Warshaw, general manager of the Rockford Lightning.—ed.)
Quad Cities Online—Dispatch-Argus (Moline, IL)
Posted Online: Feb. 02, 1997, 12:00 am
DAY IN THE LIFE—1 P.M.
By Todd Welvaert
Now, the game has moved to The Mark, and the league is billed as The Official Development League of the National Basketball Association. It\’s still the CBA—the Come Back Again League, as veteran pro traveler Brooke Steppe used to call it. Basically, the CBA is what you make it.
More Than a Game
By Phil Jackson and Charley Rosen
New York, NY: Seven Stories Press
Eventually, Phil wound up as head coach of the Albany Patroons in the Continental Basketball Association. Among the league’s hard-bitten veterans, the CBA was also known as “Come Back Again” or the “Crazy Basketball Association.”
A Life In and Out of Bounds
By Charley Rosen
Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press
(For the legions of players whose ten-day contracts were not renewed, another of the CBA’s noms de hoop was “Come Back Again.")
Daily News (New York, NY)
Phil Jackson comes long way from bohemian roots to become Knicks president
By Filip Bondy
PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014, 9:16 PM
UPDATED: SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014, 9:30 PM
Jim Coyne hired him as coach of the Patroons of the CBA (a league nicknamed, “Come Back Again”).