RED CLAWS FANS CELEBRATE NBA AFFILIATION
AGREEMENTS WITH BOBCATS, CELTICS
Team Holds Public Celebration in Monument Square
“This may be one of the most highly anticipated sports announcements of the summer and one of the most exciting days this organization has had to date – and there have been many,” Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings said. “This agreement ties us to a legendary NBA franchise, a 17-time world champion, and to a young, aggressive franchise on the rise that is led by two Hall of Famers. We fully intend to present Maine basketball fans with the best the NBA D-League has to offer, on the court and off. This partnership will help us do that, and we are proud to team up with the Charlotte Bobcats and Boston Celtics as we enter our inaugural season.”
Before making his way to Monument Square for the celebration and logo unveilings, Jennings joined Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge on a conference call with area media to discuss the new partnership.
“The NBA D-league has been fantastic for us. It has given us opportunities to develop players such as Gabe Pruitt, Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens over the last couple of years,” Ainge continued. “We are thrilled in Maine to have a partner that has Celtics’ ties in the past and knows the NBA and knows our needs. We are very excited to partner up with the Red Claws.”
While the Boston Celtics affiliation did not come as a big surprise to the crowd, the announcement of the Red Claws’ second affiliate, the Charlotte Bobcats, did. A young team with a number of eligible players who could be assigned to Maine, the Bobcats set the Red Claws up to be a tough team in their inaugural season.
“Having utilized the NBA’s Development League over the past several seasons both in terms of sending our own players down and signing other players, we understand the importance of the league,” said Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins. “We look forward to continuing that relationship through our new affiliation with the Maine Red Claws.”
“We are excited to be affiliated with the Maine Red Claws,” added Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown. “There is no better place than the D-League to send our prospects. I’ve known Jon Jennings for quite some time, and I wish him and the Red Claws the best of luck next season.”
The NBA affiliation system allows NBA teams to assign players in their first and second year to their NBA D-League affiliate. In the 2009 NBA Draft, which took place on June 25, Charlotte selected Gerald Henderson, a junior out of Duke, with the 12th selection in the first round and also picked up Derrick Brown, a junior out of Xavier, with the 40th overall pick. The Celtics had just one pick in the 2009 Draft, taking Lester Hudson, a senior combo guard out of Tennessee Martin, with the 58th overall selection.