NEW YORK, April 6, 2011 – The NBA Development League (NBA D-League) closed out a record- setting 2010-11 regular-season that featured an all-time high 37 NBA players assigned from a record 25 NBA teams and a total league-wide attendance of 1,125,583 fans, up 7.9% from last season.
During the NBA D-League’s 10th season, 25 NBA teams assigned 37 first- and second-year players to develop with their NBA D-League affiliates. Of those 37 players, 18 were first-round NBA Draft picks from 2009 and 2010, while six were lottery picks, including Houston’s Patrick Patterson and Minnesota’s Jonny Flynn. A record-high 98 players currently on NBA rosters have NBA D-League experience, including Golden State’s Dorell Wright and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Shannon Brown, while 45% of the players selected in the 2010 NBA Draft played in the NBA D-League this season. All 30 NBA teams currently feature at least one player with NBA D-League experience for the first time.
The league and its teams also had a strong season off the court as fans turned out in record numbers this year for NBA D-League teams locally. The Bakersfield Jam and Maine Red Claws sold out all of their respective home games, marking the second consecutive season both teams have done so. Several companies joined NBA D-League teams as part of the first-ever marquee jersey partnerships including: Erie BayHawks with Lake Erie College of Medicine; Rio Grande Valley Vipers with Lone Star National Bank; and Iowa Energy with Toyota of Des Moines.
In addition, the league added five new marketing relationships, including leading brands such as American Express, BBVA, Cisco, SonoSite, and Turbo Tax. The league also extended its national television deal with VERSUS for a second season expanding its NBA D-League coverage to include 14 regular season events, three playoff games, and all Finals games. As part of its online coverage, all games and highlights were available at nba.com/dleague in High-definition and with live DVR and multi-game viewing capabilities for the first time via NBA Futurecast.
The NBA D-League Playoffs will tip off on Wednesday, April 6 when Nancy Lieberman, the first female coach of an NBA-affiliated team, will lead her Texas Legends as they host the Tulsa 66ers at 8:00p.m. ET live on NBA Futurecast (nba.com/dleague). VERSUS will tip off its post-season coverage on Friday, April 8 at 11:30 p.m. ET when the Bakersfield Jam host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.