NBA G-League season to feature new format, 3 new teams
Birmingham, Fort Worth and Detroit will debut new franchises as season will feature an expanded Showcase Cup.
NEW YORK — The NBA G League today announced a new innovative format to its season structure featuring both a 36-game regular season and an expanded Showcase Cup, a 14-game tournament which begins on Friday, Nov. 5 and then concludes at the annual NBA G League Winter Showcase from Dec. 19-22. The 2021-22 regular-season will then commence on Dec. 27 with traditional playoffs and the NBA G League Finals presented by YouTube TV in April 2022. The NBA G League today also released its complete game schedule for the full season for 2021-22 play.
To celebrate the return to team markets, the NBA G League and its teams are hosting its first annual league-wide Fan Fest presented by Wilson between Friday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 26. NBA G League fans across the country will enjoy virtual, family-friendly activities hosted by their hometown teams. Activations include virtual youth basketball clinics with balls and other equipment supplied by Wilson, along with virtual appearances by players, coaches and executives. As a part of the event, the league will also host an online search for the “Most G” fans via social media platforms, giving fans nationwide a chance to show pride for their teams and win prizes.
To play the Showcase Cup, the league’s 29 teams and NBA G League Ignite will be separated into four regional pods, where they will play 12 games against one another in NBA G League markets. The teams with the best winning-percentage in each regional pod, along with the next four teams across the league with the best win-percentages, will advance to compete for the Showcase Cup in a single-elimination tournament during the NBA G League Winter Showcase. The remaining teams will each play two games outside of the Showcase Cup tournament during the event. The Salt Lake City Stars won the inaugural iteration of the Showcase Cup during the 2019-20 season.
Following the Showcase Cup, team records will reset, and the 36-game regular season will tip off on Monday, Dec. 27, bringing each team’s total games played to 50. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top six teams in each conference will qualify for the NBA G League Playoffs. NBA G League Ignite and Capitanes de la Ciudad de México will compete in the Showcase Cup but will not take part in the 36-game regular season.
The Birmingham Squadron (New Orleans Pelicans) makes its NBA G League debut on Nov. 5 against the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Motor City Cruise (Detroit Pistons) plays its inaugural game at the Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center on Nov. 6 against the Cleveland Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Capitanes de la Ciudad de México, who will be based out of Fort Worth, TX and will play as the home team in NBA G League cities, begins play on Nov. 5 against the Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies).
The 2021-22 NBA G League national broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.