Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets

The Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets were a professional basketball team based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 1988 to 1991. They played in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), the defunct development league for the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets
Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets logo
ConferenceWestern (1988–89)
DivisionCentral (1989–1991)
ArenaFive Seasons Center
LocationCedar Rapids, Iowa
Team colorssilver, red, blue, white
Main sponsorCoors Light, Kum & Go
PresidentKevin Krause
OwnershipKrause Gentle


Cincinnati Slammers relocationEdit

The franchise was purchased for an undisclosed amount by Krause Gentle, the parent company of Kum & Go convenience stores. The company announced their intentions to relocate the team to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The team's 1988-89 schedule was printed on soda cups that were sold at Kum & Go locations. [1] The name "Silver Bullets" was chosen because the team was sponsored by Coors Light, which marketed the "silver bullet can".[2]

Cedar Rapids (1988–1991)Edit

The Silver Bullets played their home games at the 7,200 seat Five Seasons Center (now U.S. Cellular Center). Kevin Krause, whose father owned the team through their parent company Krause Gentle, served as the team's president.[3]

Lewis Lloyd, who was banned from playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) due to a violation of their drug policy, sought a court injunction in 1988 to allow him to play in the CBA after his contract with the Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets was rejected by CBA commissioner Jay Ramsdell. Lloyd had been participating in the league's rehabilitation program and qualified for reinstatement on March 19. 1989, but through his lawyer challenged the legality of the CBA's drug policy. On December 21, 1988 Linn County, Iowa District Judge William Thomas ruled that the CBA had a right to bar players who had a history of drug use. Ramsdell testified at the hearing that the CBA did not test for cannabis during their drug screenings.[4]

John Starks (pictured in 1996) was a CBA All-Star with the Silver Bullets during the 1989–1990 season.

On December 30, 1989, Rockford Lightning head coach Charley Rosen was arrested in Cedar Rapids for assaulting Silver Bullets head coach George Whittaker. Rosen was restrained from attacking Whittaker on the court by referees and ejected from the game. After Cedar Rapids posted a 119–98 victory over the Lightning, Rosen met Whittaker in the hallway outside of the Silver Bullets locker room and struck him in the neck and shoulder.[5] According to the Associated Press, Rosen was angry that Whittaker's team was running up the score.[6] As a result of the altercation, the CBA suspended Rosen eight games and fined him an undisclosed amount.[5] In April 1990, Rosen plead guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge.[7]

The 1990 CBA All-Star Game was held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on January 18.[8] The game was sponsored by LA Gear, who announced on the broadcast that they were the official shoe of the CBA.[9] John Starks appeared in the 1990 CBA All-Star Game as a member of the Silver Bullets. During a game late in the season, Starks pushed a referee which led his suspension from the CBA.[10] Starks would eventually become an NBA All-Star with the New York Knicks in 1994.

Bimm Ridder Sportswear, an athletic apparel manufacturer, got its start making products for the Silver Bullets and the Minor League Baseball team, the Cedar Rapids Reds.[11]

Relocation to Tri-Cities, WashingtonEdit

In June 1991, the CBA approved the re-location of the Cedar Rapids franchise to Tri-Cities, Washington.[12] The team would later be known as the Tri-City Chinook who played their home games at Tri-Cities Coliseum in Kennewick, Washington.

Season-by-season recordsEdit

Years Wins Losses Winning percentage Head coach(s) Ref
1988–89 30 24 .555 Gary Youmans [13]
1989–1990 25 31 .446 George Whittaker [14]
1990–91 24 32 .428 George Whittaker (2–5)
Steve Bontrager (22–27)

All-time rosterEdit

Sources [13][14][15]



  1. ^ Smedley, Peggy (October 1988). "Krause Gentle goes to the hoop for Kum & Go convenient stores". National Petroleum News (80.11). M2Media360.
  2. ^ Swanson, Wayne (April 2, 1989). "How The Other League Lives". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  3. ^ Schmitz, Brian (December 18, 1988). "It's Hi-ho Silver, Awaaay In Basketball-crazed Iowa". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "Untitled". United Press International. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. December 21, 1988.
  5. ^ a b "Rockford CBA coach suspended after punching Cedar Rapids coach". United Press International. Rockford, Illinois. January 2, 1990.
  6. ^ "Coach Is Arrested". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Associated Press. December 31, 1989.
  7. ^ "CBA coach pleads guilty to assault". United Press International. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. April 12, 1990.
  8. ^ "Calendar of Events". United Press International. December 20, 1989.
  9. ^ Matthew, Grimm (January 14, 1991). "L.A. Gear declares (guerrilla) war". Adweek's Marketing Week (32.3). p. 44.
  10. ^ Kiersh, Ed (October 1993). "Stark reality: gritty overachiever John Starks butts his way into the big time". Sport (84.10). Extreme Ventures, LLC. p. 59.
  11. ^ Hlas, Mike (July 21, 2008). "Struggling forward". Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
  12. ^ "Transactions". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. June 15, 1991.
  13. ^ a b "1988-89 Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets Roster". justsportsstats.com. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "1989-90 Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets Roster". justsportsstats.com. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "1990-91 Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets Roster". justsportsstats.com. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  16. ^ "Sports Digest". United Press International. January 5, 1989.
  17. ^ Anderson, Dave (February 2, 1994). "Sports of The Times; The All-Star Shooter From the C.B.A.". The New York Times. New York City, New York: The New York Times Company.