- Watch Clippers Assignee Willie Warren and Bakersfield Begin Playoff Run Tonight at 8:30 p.m. -

LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2011— Several of the NBA’s top prospects, along with Clippers guard Willie Warren, can be seen on national television tonight when the Bakersfield Jam, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 7 p.m. PT in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA D-League Playoffs. The game will be televised nationally on VERSUS at 8:30 p.m. PT.

Bakersfield finished the regular season with a 29-21 record, earning the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. In the NBA D-League’s pick-your-opponent format, the defending league-champion Vipers, the No. 3 seed, chose to begin their title defense against the Jam.

The Clippers have assigned Warren twice this season, and the rookie guard out of Oklahoma has averaged 19.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 15 games with Bakersfield. The Jam is also led by NBA D-League All-Star guard Trey Johnson, who led the league in scoring (25.5 ppg) in the regular season and earned a GATORADE Call-Up to the Toronto Raptors. Bakersfield will also have Lakers forward Derrick Caracter, who is also on assignment. Caracter has appeared in three games with the Jam, averaging 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds.

The Vipers are led by guard Jerel McNeal, out of Marquette, whose 19.4 points per game ranked fifth in the league in the regular season, earning him a GATORADE Call-Up to the New Orleans Hornets earlier in the year. The Vipers also feature former Duke All-American Jon Scheyer, who is averaging 13.8 points and 4.1 assists in 16 games, and former Colorado standout Richard Roby (15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg). Hasheem Thabeet, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, has appeared in six games with the Vipers since being assigned by Houston, averaging 10.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 27.8 minutes.

Currently about 22 percent of NBA players have NBA D-League experience, including the Clippers’ Jamario Moon. This season, a record 25 NBA teams have assigned players to their NBA D-League affiliates, while 45 percent of the 2010 NBA Draft class has played in the NBA D-League in 2010-11.

VERSUS’ NBA D-League Playoffs Schedule (subject to change):

April 8 Rio Grande Valley at Bakersfield, 10 PM ET 11:30 PM ET
April 11 Utah at Iowa, 8 PM ET LIVE
TBD NBA D-League Finals

For complete schedule information, visit

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

VERSUS, part of the NBC Sports Group, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France and Professional Bull Riders (PBR). VERSUS also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football and college basketball programming. The network is home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else. VERSUS is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

More News