Press Conference Recap
The NBA Development League and the Detroit Pistons made the official announcement during a press conference held at the DeltaPlex Arena outlining the deal to bring a single affiliate D-League team to Grand Rapids, MI for the 2014-15 season.
NBA D-League President Dan Reed spoke alongside Palace Sports and Entertainment President and CEO Dennis Mannion and GR D-League President Steve Jbara. Pistons Bad Boy and Legend Rick Mahorn was in attendance, as well as the Pistons Mascot HOOPER.
Reed opened the conference stating, “We’re excited to work with an outstanding ownership group, led by Steve Jbara, and the Detroit Pistons to bring the NBA D-League to Grand Rapids and greater Western Michigan. The team will not only showcase the highest level of basketball outside of the NBA, featuring up-and-coming Detroit Pistons, but will enrich an already vibrant community via its fun, family-friendly and affordable brand of entertainment and commitment to broader community needs."
The fan experience and family environment will be a selling point for the team, with some tickets starting under $10. Jbara, a West Michigan native, said he was excited to bring this team to the west side of the state. "The NBA D-League is becoming an integral part of the NBA’s future and, after two years of working to make it happen, we are ecstatic to have the opportunity to bring high-level, professional basketball to the Grand Rapids area. The media spotlight and increasing viewership will help continue the trend of exciting things happening in this region. We look forward to celebrating the strength of the existing community and positively impacting areas of focus through our NBA/D-League Cares initiatives.”
Mannion added, “This is an initiative that was important to our owner, Tom Gores, and our basketball operations personnel. The NBA D-League is thriving and we’re excited to play our part in delivering basketball entertainment to the west side of the state.” Since the press conference, Jbara has made the rounds in local television and radio media with interviews on WOOD TV 8, WBBL 107.3 and WJRW 1340 AM.