NBA Development League Sets Records For Gatorade Call-Ups And NBA Player Assignments
NEW YORK, April 10, 2012 – The NBA Development League (NBA D-League) experienced its most successful season ever in developing NBA talent as it set all-time records with 50 GATORADE Call-ups, breaking the previous record of 40 set during the 2009-10 season, and 64 NBA player assignments, surpassing the previous record of 56 assignments established last year.
As the NBA regular season draws to a close, 25 percent of team rosters consist of players with NBA D-League experience (108), including 36 percent from the 2010 and 2011 NBA Draft classes (43). Featuring former Erie BayHawks and Reno Bighorns star Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, former Los Angeles D-Fenders star Gerald Green of the New Jersey Nets, former Tulsa 66ers star Ramon Sessions of the Los Angeles Lakers and former Rio Grande Valley Viper star C.J. Watson of the Chicago Bulls, all 30 NBA teams now have at least one player who previously made his mark in the NBA D-League.
Other highlights for the 2011-12 season include:
The NBA D-League marked its 11th season by reaching the 1 million total attendance plateau for a third straight year (1,055,239).
Demonstrating the NBA D-League’s role as a source of emerging talent, the 16-team league set a record for NBA single-team affiliates this season with nine, up from four last year. Five NBA teams invested in a “one-on-one’ relationship with its NBA D-League affiliate this season: the Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), the Golden State Warriors (Dakota Wizards), the Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders), the New Jersey Nets (Springfield Armor) and the New York Knicks (Erie Bayhawks). These teams joined the Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends), the Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), the Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers), and the San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros), who previously acquired a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.
Digital/Social Media Growth
NBA.com/dleague traffic increased for daily uniques, up 12 percent, and video streams, up 19 percent, while NBA D-League mobile app downloads were up 152 percent over last year and NBA D-League followers on Facebook increased more than 13 percent.
The NBA D-League experienced the most television exposure in its 11-year history with over 240 games televised across the league’s family of networks, including Comcast SportsNet, the Armed Forces Network, FamilyNet and NBA TV International as games were seen in 194 countries and territories.
NBA D-League partners conducted activities around key league events throughout the year, including the Boost Mobile National Tryouts, which produced former Springfield Armor standout Dennis Horner, who earned two GATORADE Call-Ups to the New Jersey Nets; the NBA D-League Draft powered by Cisco; the NBA D-League All-Star Game presented by 26 Seconds; and the NBA D-League Playoffs and Finals presented by BBVA. This marks the first season 26 Seconds and Cisco have served as the presenting partner of these respective events and BBVA – a league partner since 2010 – expanded its relationship with the league to present the Playoffs and The Finals for the first time.
The NBA D-League Playoffs presented by BBVA will tip off when the Los Angeles D-Fenders travel to the Iowa Energy on Wednesday, April 11, as determined by the league’s innovative pick-your-playoff format in which the three top seeds choose their opponents from the teams seeded 5-8 in the eight-team field based on the best record. This year, once again, all of the playoff games can be see live online at www.nba.com/dleague.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 23 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 11th season, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.