Nets' NBA D-League team to debut in 2016-17 season
Nov. 07, 2015
NEW YORK (AP) — The Nets organization is headed back to its roots.
Brooklyn will have its own NBA Development League team, the Long Island Nets.
The D-League Nets will begin play next season at Barclays Center, their parent club's home, before moving to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the 2017-18 season. That arena is currently being renovated.
The Nets began their existence as the New York Nets of the ABA, playing on Long Island, before moving to New Jersey for 35 years and finally ending up in Brooklyn in 2012. Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said the Long Island Nets will allow them to "reclaim that territory."
Five current Brooklyn Nets played in the D-League. The team will train at the Nets' practice facility that is being built in Brooklyn.
The announcement Friday expands the D-League to 21 teams and makes Brooklyn the 12th to fully own and operate its own D-League affiliate, and the league wants to see every NBA team have its own.
"We're in growth mode and '30 for 30' has been our stated No. 1 priority, so we're actively talking to all NBA teams that don't currently have a D-League team," D-League President Malcolm Turner said. "So we're excited about this announcement and we hope they're more announcements to come in the very near term for '16-'17.
Chicago's plans to purchase a team will be announced soon, and the Charlotte Hornets unveiled their plans last week to have an affiliate in Greensboro, North Carolina. Turner said the Washington Wizards are planning to open a new practice facility that would have room to house a D-League team.
The D-League begins its 15th season on Nov. 12. Long Island will join the Knicks' D-League affiliate in Westchester County, along with teams in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maine to give the minor league a strong presence in the Northeast.
Having teams close together allows for easier and less expensive road trips, and parent clubs want their affiliates nearby.
"You are seeing clusters now form," Turner said. "That's exactly what we hoped for and frankly expected."