Lions alert as Bullets lose Lloyd

The new Birmingham Bullets coach, Lance Randall, will not have the services of the club's most experienced player when he takes over in September, as Nigel Lloyd has left the club after six years, writes Richard Taylor.

The new Birmingham Bullets coach, Lance Randall, will not have the services of the club's most experienced player when he takes over in September, as Nigel Lloyd has left the club after six years, writes Richard Taylor.

Lloyd, the 39-year-old Barbadian who first played in the League for the old Hemel Hempstead Royals in 1984, decided against applying for the coach's position when Mike Finger returned to the United States after the club's defeat in last season's championship final against Manchester Giants.

Lloyd may now be a target for Milton Keynes Lions as a player-coach. Randall has so far signed only one player to a new contract, Lloyd's former back-court partner Joel Burns. Emiko Etete and Clive Allen have been offered new contracts.

The Basketball League was relieved last week to announce new owners for the Manchester franchise, but faces uncertainty over three more clubs. Derby Storm do not have an owner, Leicester City Riders have no home, while the company owning Edinburgh Rocks recently filed for liquidation.

"It's a mess," said Billy Mims, the Leicester coach. "Our chances of a good season are slipping away because the players I want are talking to other clubs."

The League also has yet to announce a new sponsor following the withdrawal of Dairylea Dunkers one season into a three-year deal.

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