2000 Season
The 2000 season was a storybook beginning and ending for the Dodge City Legend.

It began with the birth of the United States Basketball League’s newest franchise on January 19. It ended on July 2 with a USBL Championship. What a six month ride it was!

The first three months laid the groundwork for what would be one of the most successful seasons in USBL history. Legend general manager Tom Nelson hired head coach Kent Davison, and Davison assembled one of the most talented teams the league had ever seen.

On April 25, 2000 a sold-out Civic Center watched the Legend win their first ever game, 93-84 over Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry’s Florida Sea Dragons. Two wins at Oklahoma and a 120-94 win over the three-time defending USBL Champions Atlantic City Seagulls had the Legend 4-0 before a tough East Coast road trip. Two more wins ran the streak to six before the Legend lost three of four to finish the trip. Playing eight of their first 10 games on the road, the Legend posted a 7-3 record.

A home win over New Jersey made the record 8-3 before the Kansas Cagerz came to Dodge City and built a 17 point fourth quarter lead. The Legend would roar all the way back to send the game to overtime, but would suffer their first home loss 122-117.

The Legend returned the favor in Salina four nights later, posting a 101-85 win, but lost at home to the Cagerz 103-94 two nights after that.

Legend point guard Sean Colson had a night for the record books on May 25, as he lit up the visiting Washington Congressionals for a team-record and USBL season high 47 points in a 117-103 win.

The Northern Division champion Pennsylvania Valleydawgs fell at the Civic Center 106-95 on May 27, one night before the Legend beat the Cagerz for a third time in Salina.

The first of two Florida road trips resulted in a sweep of the Sunshine state, including an impressive 118-98 win over Florida in TECO Arena in Fort Myers.

The Sea Dragons returned to the Civic Center on June 11 with similar results. A 97-95 Legend win was highlighted by an emotional outburst by Rick Barry that resulted in his ejection at halftime. The Legend scored a season-high 142 points in beating Long Island by 16, setting up a Southern Division clinching opportunity at home against the Cagerz.

The largest crowd in Legend history, 2,512, showed up to watch Dodge City beat their arch-rival for the title. It was the first win in the series by the home team.

The Legend would close the season with a two game split in Florida before coming home to blast Roy Jones, Jr. and the Gulf Coast Sundogs twice before the USBL Post-Season Tournament.

The USBL tournament was held in Salina’s Bicentennial Center, and hundreds of fans would make the trip to watch top-seeded Legend knock off defending champion Atlantic City 122-107 in the first round, the homestanding Kansas Cagerz 105-90 in the semi-finals, and the Oklahoma Storm 89-86 in the title game.

A 25-8 record. A Southern Division Championship. A USBL Championship. A near-sweep of the USBL awards. Legend guard Sean Colson was USBL Player of the Year, Legend head coach Kent Davison was USBL Coach of the Year and Artie Griffin was named the Most Valuable Player of the Post-Season Festival.

The storybook is closed, but it was a great read.

2001 Season
At the beginning of the 2001 season it seemed that the more things were supposed to change...the more they stayed the same.

It began when Atlanta Hawks scout Mike Sheppard was hired to replace Kent Davison as head coach of the Legend. Davison’s head coaching position in the Continental Basketball Association was to have kept him from returning to Dodge City. However, in February the CBA went out of business, then in late March Sheppard resigned to take a collegiate coaching position.

Three weeks before the season, Kent Davison returned and brought his Fort Wayne Fury assistant Cliff Levingston with him.

Davison quickly assembled a squad before the April 29 opener at home against the Kansas Cagerz. On a night when the Legend celebrated their USBL Championship with a pre-game ring and banner raising ceremony, the Cagerz had the last laugh posting a 93-90 win.

A four game season opening losing streak came to an end on the road against Robert Parish and the eventual Northern Division champion Maryland Mustangs. Marshall Phillips, playing his first game with the Legend scored 37 points, had 13 rebounds and nine steals as the Legend won in double-overtime 107-97. Dodge City returned from their first East Coast trip with a 1-6 record.

On May 12, Donte Mathis scored 24 as the Legend picked up their first win in three tries against the Lakeland Blue Ducks 104-99 at the Civic Center. A 102-100 home loss to Florida and a 117-104 loss at Oklahoma dropped the record to 2-8 before the Legend began the crawl back to a winning record.

Three home wins in a row over Maryland (112-93), Atlantic City (137-97) and eventual USBL Champion Pennsylvania (139-114) gave the Legend some momentum. Marshall Phillips scored a team season high 41 points while Kelvin Price grabbed a record 20 rebounds in the big win over the Dawgs. After a loss at Salina to the Cagerz, Marshall Phillips led the way with 35 points, Kelvin Price tied the team record with 20 rebounds as the Legend posted a 98-96 win over the Cagerz at home.

A one point loss at Southern Division leader Oklahoma showed that Dodge City could be competitive on the road, then one night later the Legend overcame adversity to beat the Cagerz 96-91 at the Bicentennial Center. On June 8, Oklahoma came to the Civic Center and left with a 83-82 win. The next night in Enid, the Legend grabbed a big road win over the Storm 109-106.

Anthony Pelle had 18 points and eight boards as the Legend beat Long Island at home 120-94, followed by a home loss to Oklahoma 103-93. A 97-91 win at the Civic Center over Kansas sent the Legend on a road trip to Florida and the Northeast. Road losses at Florida and Long Island started the trip before the Legend put a team record 151 points on the scoreboard in a big win at Atlantic City.

Home wins over Lakeland (107-99) and Brooklyn (102-100) closed the home portion of the schedule. The regular season came to an end at Salina with a 96-89 loss to the Cagerz.

The Legend entered the USBL Post-Season Festival in Pennsylvania with a 15-15 record and a number seven seed in an eight team tournament, but they played like the defending champions they were.

On a wild day of first round action, the four olwer seeded teams upset the four higher seeds. D. De City rallied back from 20 points down in the second half to beat Northern Division Champion Maryland on a 23 foot shot at the final buzzer by Donte Mathis, 109-106.

In the semi-final game, Jeff Boese scored 21 points as the Legend beat Lakeland for the third time of the season 95-79, setting up a USBL Championship showdown with the Pennsylvania Valleydawgs on their home floor.

The Legend hung tough, closing to within four points late, but Darryl Dawkins won his first title 100-91.

It was a satisfying end to what had been a roller coaster season. The slow start was erased by the fast finish...and a second straight trip to the USBL title game. A 17-16 record kept the winning tradition alive in Dodge City.