Austin, TX July 24, 2007 – Spurs Sports and Entertainment announced today that the Austin Toros will open their 2007-08 season in the NBA Development League on Friday, November 23 when they travel to play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at the Dodge Arena. The Toros will take on the Bakersfield Jam when the season opens at home on Saturday, November 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center.
The Toros - Vipers contest is the first of 50 regular season games for the Austin Toros, including 24 home games that will take place at the Austin Convention Center. The Toros will also take part in the 2008 D-League Showcase, Jan. 14-17, 2008 at Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho.
“This is the start of a new era for the Toros franchise and we are very excited about our new partnership with our affiliate and new owner, the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs will oversee all aspects of our franchise and will be able to share many resources with us, both on the basketball and marketing side of the business. The partnership should also enhance our game experience while growing our fan base to a new level,” stated Toros President Mike Berry.
The Toros 24-game home schedule will feature nine Friday and nine Saturday night games, making Toros games accessible for families, businesses and groups throughout Austin and the region.
Also highlighting the 2007-08 D-League Schedule is the 2nd annual D-League All-Star Game, which will be played as part of the NBA Jam Session presented by Adidas at the 2008 NBA All-Star in New Orleans.
Fans can purchase Toros season tickets and flex books (10 –game packages) now by calling (512) 236-8333 or visiting www.austintoros.com. Toros season ticket packages start at just $7 per game.
With the expansion to 14 teams, the D-League is realigning into three divisions for the 2007-08 season. The Southwest and West divisions will feature five teams while the Central division will have four. The Austin Toros will play in the Southwest division. The Toros will play divisional foes an average of seven times during the regular season while squaring off with non-division opponents twice.
“The realignment and scheduling structure encourages divisional rivalries,” D-League President Dan Reed said. “Plus, with this scheduling system, we had the ability to cut down on travel which we believe, in turn, will provide for a better product on the floor.”
The Divisions for the 2007-08 season will break down as follows:
Rio Grande Valley
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.