Texas caps “Legendary” inaugural season with playoff berth

Frisco, TX (April 19, 2011) – The Texas Legends 2010-11 NBA Development League Season, their first in the league, came to a close last week after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Tulsa 66ers. It was a season filled with fun, excitement and most of all lots of firsts for the 10-year-old league.

For starters, Legends co-owner Donnie Nelson began the franchise with one of the biggest splashes in league and sports history, by hiring the first female head coach in NBA or NBA D-League history. Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman came to the Legends on her continued quest for excellence.

While leading the Legends to a 24-26 record on the season, she led Texas to the playoffs, becoming only the third expansion team in league history to make it to the postseason. Along with Lieberman, the Legends hired a few other notable basketball names for the front office in their inaugural campaign, including President of Basketball Operations Spud Webb (1986 Slam Dunk Champion) and General Manager Del Harris (1995 NBA Coach of the Year).

The Legends were one of the main attractions in the 16-team league, as they we seen on national TV on VERSUS three times to go along with their two appearances on Fox Sports Southwest. Texas played their first game in franchise history in front of a nationally televised crowd on VERSUS at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. After dropping the opener, the Legends picked up their first victory in team history on November 26 against the Idaho Stampede, 108-100.

Texas returned to Frisco for the much-anticipated inaugural home-opener on November 30. They dazzled the sold-out crowd by scoring a league record 84 points in the first half of basketball on their new home floor on the way to a 135-112 win over their cross-state rival Austin Toros. Texas began the season with a 5-1 record, the best 6-game start for an expansion team in league history.

Just a few weeks ago, the Legends had their first GATORADE Call-Up in franchise history when 12-year NBA veteran got the call up to the Philadelphia 76ers.

This past week it was announced that the Legends have four players named to All-NBA D-League teams, the most of any expansion team in league history. Joe Alexander led the pack, being named First Team All-NBA D-League, Sean Williams and Daniels were named to the Second Team, while Justin Dentmon was an honorable mention. Also this week, Williams was named to the NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team.

While leading the league in sponsorships this season, the Legends broke a few other major barriers during their inaugural campaign and hope to keep the firsts coming in 2011-12.

Some other league firsts for this season include:

- First Chinese owner: Sonny Xiao

- First to have center jump circle sponsored: HP

- First to have 3 former first rounders on roster (with trade for Reece Gaines)

- First to have 4 former first rounders on roster (with drafting of Antonio Daniels)

- First to have 5 former first rounders on roster (with acquisition of Joe Alexander)

- First to have 6 former first rounders on roster (with assignment of Dominique Jones)

- First to have 7 former first rounders on roster (with assignment of Rodrigue Beaubois)

- First D-League team (regardless of expansion team) to have more than 1700 season ticket holder

- Tied for tallest player in D-League history: Moussa Seck at 7’5 tied with Pavel Podkolzin

- Most local tryout players with 20+ points in a single game: 3 (Matt Rogers, Booker Woodfox, Rece Hampton)

-Most postseason honorees for an expansion team: 4 on All-NBA D-League teams (Joe Alexander, Sean Williams, Antonio Daniels, Justin Dentmon)

-Most on-court sponsors in league history: 5

-Most players called up in expansion season: 1 (Antonio Daniels)