April 25, 2017
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the organization has received six affirmative responses to the team’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the NBA Development League, which were sent on March 30, 2017. The following communities have responded with interest in moving forward in the team’s process with its intention to launch its own NBA Development League team beginning play in the 2018-2019 season: Baton Rouge, LA; Jackson, MS: Mobile, AL; Pensacola, FL; St. Tammany Parish, LA and Shreveport, LA.
The league will soon be known as the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G League). The team will be owned and operated by New Orleans Pelicans Owner Tom Benson and will be a direct, one-to-one affiliate of the Pelicans. The six locations will have until June 7, 2017 to submit a complete and comprehensive proposal to the Pelicans.
“We are excited to the see the excitement which this process has generated among the six locations,” said Benson. “All of them have stepped forward with legitimate and sincere interest and are going to make a case via their proposals for why they would like to be the home of our NBA G League team in 2018-2019. The process is underway and we know that this will be a very significant addition for a city/parish near us as it will add global exposure and bring professional basketball to their town.”
The D-League is the NBA’s official minor league, which was founded in 2001. The NBA D-League currently features twenty-two (22) teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams. An additional three teams, affiliated with the Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks are set to join what will be known as the NBA G League for the 2017-2018 season.
The NBA D-League is made up of 50 regular season games plus a postseason and runs from November to April. The league fosters the connections to the communities that the teams serve and promotes health and wellness, supports local needs and interests and assists in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. As the research and development arm of the NBA, the NBA D-League seeks to advance the game of basketball.
A proven developer of NBA-caliber talent, almost 40 percent of current NBA players have NBA D-League experience as connectivity between the NBA and the NBA’s official minor league continues to grow. Recent changes to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement have reinforced that synergy, as NBA teams will be able to have up to two “two-way players” on their rosters beginning next season. These “two-way players” will gain experience in the NBA, but will primarily play in the NBA G League as part of their NBA journeys.
Currently the following teams play in the NBA D-League: Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers), Erie BayHawks (Orlando Magic), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers), Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons), Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets), Iowa Energy (Memphis Grizzlies), Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Los Angeles D-Fenders (Los Angeles Lakers), Maine Red Claws (Boston Celtics), Northern Arizona Suns (Phoenix Suns), Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder), Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors), Reno Bighorns (Sacramento Kings), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets), Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz), Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors), Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami Heat), Texas Legends (Dallas Mavericks), Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks) and Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls). Other municipalities interested can contact the New Orleans Pelicans.