National Lacrosse League (2001-2003)
Born: May 2, 2001 – NLL expansion franchise.
Died: September 17, 2003 – The Storm relocate to Anaheim, CA.
Arena: Continental Airlines Arena (19,040)
Owner: Jayson Williams
The New Jersey Storm were a short-lived indoor lacrosse franchise owned by recently retired New Jersey Nets All-Star Jayson Williams. Williams, who reportedly earned $87 million during his 9-year NBA career, paid a $500,000 expansion fee for the National Lacrosse League team and named the club after his alma mater, the St. John’s University Red Storm.
Less than three months after the Storm’s November 2001 debut, Williams accidentally shot and killed his chauffeur at his New Jersey mansion on Valentine’s Day 2002. He would spend much of the next decade in judicial proceedings before finally entering prison eight years after the incident in February 2010 after pleading guilty to aggravated assaults. Despite his legal troubles, Williams would remain the owner of record for the Storm until the franchise’s eventual demise in California in 2005.
The Storm struggled on the field and at the turnstiles during their two seasons in New Jersey. The team finished 5-11 in 2001-02 and 3-13 in 2002-03, missing the playoffs both seasons.
In September 2003, the franchise relocated to Anaheim, California. The club played two years as the Anaheim Storm before folding in June 2005.