NEW YORK – The NBA Development League will tip off its 14th season on Friday, Nov. 14, it was announced today. The 2014-15 season features an all-time high 18 teams, including the newly minted Grand Rapids Drive and Westchester Knicks, playing 50 games between November and April. Seventeen of the 18 NBA D-League teams have single-affiliation relationships with their NBA parent clubs.
The 2014-15 season tips off with a six-game slate on Friday, Nov. 14, starting with matchups between the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA D-League affiliate hosting the Maine Red Claws and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers hosting the Austin Toros, both at 8 p.m. ET. The 2014 NBA D-League champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants begin defense of their title on Saturday, Nov. 15, when the team hosts the Sioux Falls Skyforce at 7:30 p.m. ET. Later that evening, the Drive takes to the NBA D-League court for the first time when the team travels to Bakersfield to take on the Jam at 10 p.m. ET. Opening weekend comes to a close with three more games on Sunday, Nov. 16, when the Knicks tip off their first-ever NBA D-League season in Oklahoma City at 3 p.m. ET.
New for the 2014-15 season, the NBA D-League will feature two conferences, East and West, each broken into two divisions. The Eastern Conference will feature the Atlantic Division (Delaware 87ers, Canton Charge, Erie BayHawks, and Maine) and Central Division (Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Iowa Energy and Sioux Falls). The Western Conference will be split between the Southwest Division (Austin, Oklahoma City, Rio Grande Valley and Texas Legends) and West Division (Bakersfield, Idaho Stampede, Los Angeles D-Fenders, Reno Bighorns and Santa Cruz Warriors).
The 2014-15 season will once again feature the NBA D-League Showcase, which will run from Jan. 15-19. The location and specific schedule of the midseason scouting event will be announced at a later date. The NBA D-League All-Star Game will be played in New York City in conjunction with NBA All-Star 2015 activities.
The regular season comes to a close on Saturday, April 4, with eight games. The 2015 NBA D-League postseason will begin shortly thereafter.
Of the 17 singly-affiliated NBA D-League teams, seven teams are fully owned and operated by their NBA parent club, including Austin (San Antonio Spurs), Canton (Cleveland Cavaliers), Delaware (Philadelphia 76ers), Los Angeles (Los Angeles Lakers), Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City Thunder), Santa Cruz (Golden State Warriors) and Westchester (New York Knicks). An additional nine teams have a hybrid relationship with their NBA parent club, including Bakersfield (Phoenix Suns), Erie (Orlando Magic), Grand Rapids (Detroit Pistons), Iowa (Memphis Grizzlies) Idaho (Utah Jazz), Maine (Boston Celtics), Rio Grande Valley (Houston Rockets), Reno (Sacramento Kings) and Sioux Falls (Miami Heat). The hybrid partnership gives an NBA team control of the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations while local ownership retains control of the business. Texas has a one-to-one relationship with the Dallas Mavericks.
Fans can follow top NBA prospects and their favorite teams online at www.nbadleague.com for live games, highlights, and insider analysis. The 2014-15 NBA D-League broadcast schedule will be furnished at a later date.