NEW YORK – The NBA G League completed a historic season in which the NBA’s official minor league established records across the board this year. Following the landmark announcement that it would become the first U.S. professional sports with an entitlement partner through its agreement with Gatorade, the NBA G League, featuring an all-time high 26 teams, established new records for unique NBA players assigned (101), unique NBA G League players earning Call-Ups to the NBA (50) and players on end-of-regular-season NBA rosters with NBA G League experience (265) – a total of 53 percent of all NBA players.
The NBA G League, which reached over 1.6 million in total attendance this past season, also experienced expanded media visibility with five national media partners, social media growth and a record number of jersey sponsors.
Other highlights from the 2017-18 NBA G League season include:
- A record 26 teams competed this season, more than triple the number that played during the inaugural season in 2001-02 (eight). The four teams joining the league this season were Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (L.A. Clippers), Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic), Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies) and Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks).
- The Capital City Go-Go, the Washington Wizards-owned NBA G League team, will join the league next season, as the NBA’s official minor league expands to a record 27 teams.
NBA G League Alumni in the NBA
- A record 265 of the 500 players (53%) on 2017-18 NBA end-of-regular-season rosters have NBA G League experience.
- All 30 NBA teams finished the season with at least six NBA G League veterans on their roster, with seven teams featuring 10 or more such players.
- A record 50 NBA G League players earned 60 GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA during the 2017-18 season.
- A record 101 NBA players were assigned 435 times to the NBA G League for rehabilitation or development.
- 13 NBA Draft 2017 first-round selections and 33 NBA Draft 2017 selections overall played in the NBA G League this past season.
NBA G League and USA Basketball
- More than 25 NBA G League players played for USA Basketball during the 2017-18 season, leading the USA to a 4-0 record in FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying games and to a gold medal at the 2017 FIBA Americup. Thirteen players who contributed to USA Basketball were called up during the 2017-18 season.
- The NBA’s official minor league became the first U.S. professional sports league with an entitlement partner through its new agreement with Gatorade transforming the league from the NBA Development League into the NBA G League.
- As part of this historic partnership, Gatorade worked with the league on programs designed to enhance player performance. Through the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), scientists partnered with the NBA G League on player nutrition and training programs.
NBA G League Total Attendance
- Over 6 million fans attended NBA G League games during the 2017-18 season (1,616,656), an increase of over 11 percent in total attendance over last year, marking the ninth straight year that total attendance for the full season surpassed 1 million fans.
- The Raptors 905 and Rio Grande Valley Vipers set the single-game attendance record when 18,900 fans gathered to watch their game at Toronto’s Air Canada Center on Tuesday, Dec. 5
- A record number of multimedia outlets presented NBA G League games this season including ESPNU, NBA TV, Facebook Live, Twitch and Eleven USA, as well as select RSNs in the U.S.
- Across ESPNU, NBA TV, Facebook Live and Twitch, live NBA G League games were viewed for a total of 175 million minutes.
- ESPNU and NBA TV combined to present 41 games this season over the entire season.
- The 2018 NBA G League Finals between the Austin Spurs and the Raptors 905 on ESPNU were up 82% in viewership versus last year’s Finals.
- The 2017-18 NBA G League Regular Season on NBA TV and ESPNU was up 5% in viewership versus the 2016-17 Regular Season on NBA TV and ESPNU.
- The NBA G League set records across social media for actions (+25%, 4 million) and video views (+47%, 150 million).
Record Jersey Partnerships
- A record 20 NBA G League teams secured jersey sponsorship for the 2017-18 season: Austin Spurs (Central Texas Pain Center), Delaware Blue Coats (Reybold), Erie BayHawks (LECOM), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Lutheran Health Network), Greensboro Swarm (Lending Tree), Grand Rapids Drive (MetroHealth), Iowa Wolves (FitBit), Lakeland Magic (HomeValue), Long Island Nets (EXIT), Oklahoma City Blue (Continental Resources), Raptors 905 (BMO), Reno Bighorns (Walmart), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Lone Star National Bank), Salt Lake Stars (Zions Bank), Santa Cruz Warriors (Kaiser Permanente), South Bay Lakers (Wish), Texas Legends (ZTE), Westchester Knicks (Chase), Windy City Bulls (BMO), and Wisconsin Herd (BMO).
About the NBA G League
The NBA’s official minor league, the NBA G League prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 26 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2017-18 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time-high 44 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2016-17 season boasted NBA G League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Cares programs. NBA G League games are available on ESPN’s family of networks, Twitch, Eleven Sports, Facebook Live and NBA TV.