NBA Announces Affiliations For Expanded Development League
NEW YORK, July 5, 2007 – NEW YORK, July 5, 2007 – The National Basketball Association announced today the affiliation system for the 2007-08 NBA Development League (“D-League”) season. Each NBA team has one D-League affiliate to which it may assign players in their first or second NBA season.
"This season the D-League will be stronger than ever, with an increase from 12 to 14 teams, exciting new markets and several strong new ownership groups,” D-League President Dan Reed said. "With this strong foundation in place, the D-League will continue to serve as a critical resource for NBA teams seeking to develop the skills of their top young players.”
The affiliation system for the 2007-08 D-League season features several intriguing storylines:
• The San Antonio Spurs are the second NBA team to own their D-League affiliate, joining the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs purchased the Austin Toros on June 28 and will oversee the team operations from San Antonio. Former University of Missouri coach Quin Snyder enters his first season as head coach of the Toros.
• The Detroit Pistons will re-connect to their roots in Fort Wayne, IN, as they will be affiliated with the new Fort Wayne Mad Ants. The Pistons entered the NBA in 1948 as the Fort Wayne Pistons. The Pistons will share their Mad Ants affiliation along with the Indiana Pacers.
• The Idaho Stampede will be the affiliate for both the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle SuperSonics, the teams with the top two picks in the 2007 NBA Draft.
• The Cleveland Cavaliers will be affiliated with the new Rio Grande Valley Vipers, which is owned in part by two Cavaliers season ticket holders along with several local owners in the Rio Grande Valley area. The Cavaliers share its Rio Grande Valley affiliation along with the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets.
• The Boston Celtics will be affiliated with the Utah Flash. Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge played his college basketball in Utah at Brigham Young University. The Flash will also be affiliated with the Utah Jazz.
• The Memphis Grizzlies will be the affiliates of the 2006-07 D-League champion Dakota Wizards. The Grizzlies recently hired former Dakota coach Dave Joerger as an assistant coach. The Washington Wizards will also be affiliated with Dakota.
The D-League’s assignment system with the NBA will enter its third season in 2007-08. Over the first two seasons, NBA teams have assigned 53 players a total of 77 times, including 30 selections from the 2005 and 2006 NBA Drafts. Last season, a total of 47 former NBA draft picks played in the D-League. Lottery selections such as Portland’s Martell Webster (6th pick overall in 2005), Golden State’s Patrick O’Bryant (9th pick, 2006) and Seattle’s Mouhamed Sene (10th pick, 2006) all were assigned to their respective team’s D-League affiliate.
“We expect to continue to expand the number of D-League teams going forward which will benefit all NBA teams as they seek to develop their young talent,” said Reed.
“The assignment system provides a significant benefit to both NBA teams and our D-League affiliates,” said Stu Jackson, Executive Vice President, NBA Basketball Operations. “The NBA teams have the chance to see their young players develop through in-game experience while the D-League teams are infused with outstanding young NBA talent.”
With the D-League expanding by four teams -- Fort Wayne, Iowa, Rio Grande Valley and Utah --for the upcoming season, the league will feature a total of 14 teams. Two franchises who played in the 2006-07 season (Arkansas RimRockers, Fort Worth Flyers) will not operate during the 2007-08 season.
Entering its seventh season, the NBA Development League – the NBA’s minor league established to develop talent across all disciplines for the NBA – has relocated its headquarters from Greenville, S.C. to New York City to help foster the D-League's continued growth by giving it direct access to the support and resources of the NBA and WNBA. During the 2006-07 season, 19 NBA teams assigned 24 players to D-League rosters, and 14 NBA teams called-up 16 players (‘Gatorade Call-ups’) while 31 D-League alumni participated in the NBA Playoffs. Additionally, every referee hired by the NBA since 2002 has worked in the D-League, while coaches, athletic trainers and front office executives are also being developed. The 2007-08 NBA season will also include the first-ever D-League coach to be promoted to the NBA with Sam Vincent taking over head coaching duties for the Charlotte Bobcats.
Designed to help grow the sport of basketball both domestically and internationally, the D-League offers NBA-quality basketball and fun, family entertainment at affordable prices. For additional information on the NBA Development League, visit NBADLEAGUE.com. .
Anaheim (CA) Arsenal
Los Angeles Clippers
Austin (TX) Toros
San Antonio Spurs
Bakersfield (CA) Jam
Golden State Warriors
Colorado (Broomfield) 14ers
New Jersey Nets
Dakota (Bismarck, ND) Wizards
Fort Wayne (IND) Mad Ants
Idaho (Boise) Stampede
Portland Trail Blazers
Iowa (Des Moines) Energy
Los Angeles (CA) D-Fenders
Los Angeles Lakers
Rio Grande Valley (TX) Vipers
New Orleans Hornets
Sioux Falls Skyforce (SD)
Tulsa (OK) 66ers
New York Knicks
Utah (Orem) Flash