Bulls' NBA D-League affiliate Iowa Energy on VERSUS
Several of the NBA's top prospects, including NBA D-League MVP Curtis Stinson, can be seen on national television on Sun., April 24, when the top-seeded Iowa Energy, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns, play at the defending-champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 7 p.m. CT in Game 1 of the NBA D-League Finals. The game will be televised nationally on VERSUS at 9:30 p.m. CT.
Iowa, the No. 1 seed in the postseason after earning a 37-13 regular season record, features both the NBA D-League MVP in guard Curtis Stinson and Coach of the Year in Nick Nurse. Stinson has averaged 27.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 8.8 assists in five playoff games, series victories over the Utah Flash in the first round and Tulsa 66ers in the semifinals. Michael Haynes has also led the Energy in the playoffs, averaging 21.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in five postseason games.
Rio Grande Valley, affiliated with the Houston Rockets, finished the regular season with a 33-17 record and earned the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. The Vipers are the defending NBA D-League champion, and are attempting to become only the second repeat champion in NBA D-League history. Leading the Vipers will be All-NBA D-League Third Team guard Jerel McNeal, who has averaged 27.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 7.0 assists in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and former Duke All-American Jon Scheyer, who has averaged 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the playoffs. The Vipers also feature center Marcus Cousin, who is on assignment from the Rockets.
At the end of the NBA regular season, 23 percent of all NBA players had NBA D-League experience, including Chicago's C.J. Watson and John Lucas III. In its 10th season, the NBA D-League saw a record 25 NBA teams assign an all-time high 39 NBA players to their NBA D-League affiliates, while 45 percent of the 2010 NBA Draft class played in the NBA D-League this season.
VERSUS' NBA D-League Finals Schedule (subject to change):
|Sun. April 24||Iowa at Rio Grande Valley, 8 p.m. ET||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Wed., April 27||Rio Grande Valley at Iowa, 8 p.m. ET||TBD|
|*Fri., April 29||Rio Grande Valley at Iowa, 8 p.m. ET||TBD|
For complete schedule information, visit www.VERSUS.com.
NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA's official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league's connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league's 10th season, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.