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Thread: NBDL (D-League) Growing Pains

  1. #526
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    As we prepare for the start of the G-League bubble in Orlando starting Wednesday, a glorified G-League Showcase in a way, there are 9 Canadians in multiple G-League rosters like Bradzeikis, Boucher, Stauskas (back in the NBA) with Lakeland and Ft. Wayne having two each, the most for a franchise. Many arrive there in various statuses. Many hail from the Toronto area though Montreal and Halifax are also repped:
    https://ca.nba.com/news/how-many-can...d10bgpiit3f6gb

    Your 2021 G-League Bubble schedule starting tomorrow:
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...-g-league/l-73
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  2. #527
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    Lots of G-League stuff going on since my last post here. Teams across the G-League are conducting open tryouts.

    First off, congrats to the Lakeland Magic, easily the closest G-League team to Orlando (the city, the bubble headquarters, not just the Magic affiliation), in winning the 2020-21 G-League regular season and playoff bubble despite finishing 9-6 in a 2-way tie with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers among the the top 8 teams for the playoffs. Lakeland held the season tiebreaker over Rio Grande Valley, hence the higher seed. Took care on their path to a single-elimination championship the Erie BayHawks, Santa Cruz Warriors, and the Delaware Blue Coats all in convincing fashion with the last victim, Delaware, 97-78.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2AArCoOwkY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7G0-ouUtdc

    Farewell, Erie BayHawks. Your final game against Lakeland, you went down as the second seed after 13 years with a worthy fight 139-110. Hope you'd eventually come back, although I doubt either Phoenix or Portland would be interested in having you as an affiliate long term. Seven different NBA teams acted as parents: the Cavaliers, 76ers, Raptors, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, and New Orleans Pelicans and also shared operations with the Washington Wizards this past season. Pittsburgh doesn't seem to be a highly-contending NBA expansion candidate, which would make sense for Erie's possible future resurrection. Or even Vancouver, Montreal, KC, STL, Buffalo, and Louisville. Perhaps Seattle, much less Las Vegas. But I seriously believe both would prefer their future G-League affiliates to be located nearby to their home bases, the very reason why Erie's situation and fate was sealed and precarious being not positioned to provide this starting with Orlando wanting to create Lakeland. Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, and Philadelphia--NBA teams near Erie in the Great Lakes region--all have G-League affiliate teams very close to them. You brought NBA-level talent to the Erie Insurance Arena, where fans flocked by the thousands to watch pro players, Clutch the mascot, and the dance team, and to take part in promotions such as the popular Pepperoni Balls. Made you appreciate the franchise more with that extended 4-year stay of execution. You will be missed:
    https://www.goerie.com/story/sports/...ns/7128826002/
    https://www.goerie.com/story/sports/...ns/7161520002/

    New Orleans' Erie incarnation already planned to eventually move it to Birmingham. Announced a Name Our New Team contest. We got a winner: The Birmingham Squadron, a name that holds a dual meaning with the Pelicans name (a group of pelicans), Alabama's longstanding significant involvement in military aviation history like the 99th Pursuit Squadron--the first all-Black flying squadron in the Air Force--to the city of BirminghamÂ’s production of planes during WWII, a Vulcan, the Greek god of fire. The Squadron, with a logo and wordmark presentation similar to the Pelicans, will call the gutted and renovated 17,600-seat Birmingham Civic Center Arena/Legacy Arena home, the largest of 29 venues in the G-League that first opened in 1976 but the Squadron will begin with selling tickets for the lower bowl and season tickets ranging from $370 to $4,000 for floor seats, with a capacity of about 7,300--still larger than 18 other arenas in the league with about 100 court-side seats, which the team hopes to be part of a premium experience that will include other upgrades as part of the $123 million renovation. Even G-League execs rate it even during renovation as among the best! A new glass atrium was built facing 19th street, new suite and club areas were added, and locker rooms as well as all seats were replaced but also with an eye to cater to families and groups so typical to minor league sports. The renovated venue will host two rounds of the NCAA menÂ’s basketball tournament in 2023.

    Birmingham is no stranger to minor league basketball for years, although it's not as high-profiled as the city's pro football attempts. Or even ice hockey with the Bulls. The team will join the Birmingham Barons (minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox), Birmingham Legion FC of the USL Championship and the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League as minor-league pro teams in the region. Neither is Alabama itself a stranger in the G-League with the Huntsville Flight (played at the Von Bruan Center until moving to Albuquerque in 2005 to become the Thunderbirds) and Mobile Revelers were present in the NBDL's very early years as among the league's first areas of focus. Mobile was among a preliminary list of 11 Gulf South candidates cities the Pelicans was interested in for a G-League affiliate base back in 2017. Birmingham, interestingly, was not on this list, but BJCC executive director Tad Snider later contacted the Pelicans to pitch Birmingham, and the NBA franchise liked what it saw in its research like Birmingham always among the top five for NBA television and radio consumption, thanks to years being near to the Atlanta Hawks, Pelicans, and Memphis Grizzlies:
    https://www.al.com/sports/2021/07/bi...ague-team.html
    https://www.thebirdwrites.com/2021/8...anoff-campbell

    New Orleans Pelicans made David Lane as the Birmingham Squadron's GM of Business Operations just before the name and logos were announced:
    https://abc3340.com/sports/more-spor...ague-franchise

    Motor City Cruise, Detroit's new G-League's affiliate, announce DJ Bakker as its first head coach. Bakker has been on Dwane Casey's coaching staff for five seasons, including the last three in Detroit as his player development coach starting in 2018. The Cruise will play at Wayne St.'s new basketball gym, where Bakker will continue to develop young pro basketball players:
    https://www.freep.com/story/sports/n...se/5569838001/
    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sp...ch/5569973001/
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 09-09-2021 at 07:35 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  3. #528
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    Former Detroit affiliate Grand Rapids Drive meanwhile secured new affiliation with the Denver Nuggets following the Pistons leaving them for the Motor City Cruise/Northern Arizona Suns. With that two months after came a rebranding name change to the Grand Rapids Gold presented by Metro Health - University of Michigan Health (becoming University of Michigan Health-West). Name celebrates Colorado's mining heritage and colo(u)rs reflecting the Denver Nuggets since 2009. The Gold’s new primary and secondary logos include a small river within each R to honor one of Grand Rapids' famous nicknames, River City. Former Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry becomes the Gold's head coach for this new Grand Rapids pro basketball era:
    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sp...ts/7892073002/
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...logo/n-5716482
    https://www.mlive.com/sports/2021/07...name-logo.html
    https://www.si.com/nba/mavericks/new...ason-kidd-news
    https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/ma...gue-affiliate/

    The Maine Red Claws, who didn't participate at all during the 2021-22 bubble season, are another G-League team coming with a name change. Maine has changed its locally distinctive and more original Red Claws name for 12 years to the Maine Celtics to better align itself heritage-wise with its iconic parent franchise with a return to a normal 50-game schedule starting next season (like its historic ties to Maine in playing games there). But is keeping a lobster as the logo only for it to be now green:
    https://sports.yahoo.com/nba-g-leagu...150510006.html
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...tics/n-5696020
    https://www.pressherald.com/2021/01/...league-season/
    https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/12/...bble-covid-19/
    https://www.necn.com/news/coronaviru...eason/2385497/

    Canton Charge since moved to Cleveland this offseason after 10 years and finishing 14th at 5-10 and well out of among the playoff-bound top 8 this past season, being among one of the successful minor pro sports teams there. Lease expired at the Civic Center prompted the move. Does feel like a touch of Akron feeling like it was theirs in the departure a decade after The Decision. Almost. Wasn't really important mutually for both parties although the Charge did get some discussions in the local sports scene and with the public--and shared some love to Canton. Besides, Canton would a need new sports arena, maybe at the Hall of Fame Village, to replace the 70-year old Civic Center after some rehabbing as the Charge fades into Canton sports history. Will now play at Cleveland St.'s 13,610-seat Wolfstein Center:
    https://www.cantonrep.com/story/spor...ge/7655015002/
    https://www.cantonrep.com/story/spor...um/7725668002/
    https://www.cantonrep.com/story/spor...er/7619142002/

    Surely the connection to Patty Mills (now with Brooklyn) with his time in the early Aussie St. Mary's pipeline to going back to running Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence with his long record of player development as well as being a bronze-medal winning Boomers assistant certainly has a lot to do with the Long Island Nets hiring of Adam Caporn. Those, and his Antipodean ties with Sean Marks. Long Island has aspirations to be THE NBA-level player development place:
    https://www.nba.com/nets/news/featur...as-looking-for

    Iowa Wolves name Jeff Newton as its new head coach and Scott Thom as athletic performance coach:
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...lves/n-5743032
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  4. #529
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    G-League's 2021-22 season schedule now released since Tuesday with not just the debut of the Mexico City Capitanes, Motor City Cruise, and the Birmingham Squadron but with almost all teams getting back to their home facilities. All starting at Friday, November 5 with a slew of 9 games. The G-Leagues also features an innovated new format both a 36-game regular season and an expanded Showcase Cup, a 14-game tournament which begins on Friday, November 5 and then concludes at the annual NBA G League Winter Showcase from December 19-22. The 2021-22 regular-season will really then commence on December 27 and ending on April 2 (12 games) with traditional playoffs and the NBA G League Finals presented by YouTube TV in April 2022. Instead of geographical regional divisions, G-League teams this season will play just under East and West Divisions.

    The Birmingham Squadron (New Orleans Pelicans) makes its NBA G-League debut on November 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 November 6 against the Cleveland--formerly Canton--Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers). G-League and Wilson will take part before that in the first annual league-wide Fan Fest presented by Wilson between September 24-26 with NBA G League fans across the country will enjoy virtual, family-friendly activities hosted by their hometown teams with usual 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:
    https://gleague.nba.com/news/nba-g-l...ve-new-format/

    Haven't talked about Mexico City in a while. Mexico City Capitanes (Capitanes De Ciudad De Mexico in Spanish) will make its debut this season after a year's delay. But with this historic Mexico City appearance, making the NBA realm (G-League) the first North American pro sports league to have teams all based in the USA, Canada, and Mexico ever, comes with a condition: the Mexico City Capitanes will not get to see their Mexican basketball fans at first in its initial slate of home games because of the ever-shifting coronavirus international travel restrictions and amidst fluctuating infection rates both involving Mexico. The Capitanes will instead be based in Ft. Worth, Texas, the former of the G-League's Fort Worth Flyers many years ago with all their home games played there during the G-League Showcase and will then play as a traveling team for only 12 games when the regular season starts. First Capitanes game is November 5 versus the Memphis Hustle in Southaven and ends December 10-11 at Greensboro. Keeping with geographic basing, Mexico City will only play Southern teams--Memphis, Birmingham, Lakeland, Greensboro, Rio Grande Valley, and Austin. Mexico City doesn't have players named yet with Ramon Diaz as head coach:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...9-restrictions
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnlmtgULg5Q

    But did announce Rodrigo Serratos as Team President and Nick Lagios as GM:
    https://capitanes.gleague.nba.com/ne...eam-president/
    https://capitanes.gleague.nba.com/ne...neral-manager/

    Some G-League coaching changes: 9-year NBA vet Jason Hart takes over G-League Ignite from the departed Brian Shaw after an 8-year associate head coaching stint with the University of Southern California Trojans. A former Sioux Falls Skyforce player in Kasib Powell becomes its 21st head coach alltime in its 32 years of existence for the Miami Heat affiliate via promotion. Jordan Surenkamp becomes the Greensboro Swarm head coach built coming from a video coordinating background. Press release announcing Jason Terry as Grand Rapids Gold (formerly the Drive) head coach:
    https://gleague.nba.com/news/jason-h...league-ignite/
    https://gleague.nba.com/news/kasib-p...alls-skyforce/
    https://gleague.nba.com/news/jordan-...ensboro-swarm/
    https://gleague.nba.com/news/grand-r...ry-head-coach/

    Links for where you can get G-League local team tryout information for the tryouts starting this month:
    https://gleague.nba.com/gleague-2021...t-information/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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