NEW YORK – The NBA Development League (NBA D-League) had a record year during the 2015-16 season with all-time highs for NBA player assignments (321) and players on end-of-regular-season NBA rosters with NBA D-League experience (174 players, 39% of all NBA players).
The 22-team NBA D-League has more than doubled in size since its inaugural season in 2001-02. During the 2015-16 season, all 19 NBA D-League teams were singly affiliated with NBA parent clubs for the first time. Raptors 905, the affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, played its inaugural season in 2015-16, while the league will welcome three new teams for the 2016-17 season: the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets), Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) and Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls).
In addition, the Utah Jazz relocated the Idaho Stampede to Salt Lake City, where the team will play as the Salt Lake City Stars next year, and the Phoenix Suns purchased the Bakersfield Jam and moved that club to Prescott Valley, Ariz., where the team will play as the Northern Arizona Suns.
Other highlights from the 2015-16 NBA D-League season include:
NBA D-League Alumni in the NBA
- 100 players with NBA D-League experience were on 2016 NBA playoff rosters (42% of all NBA players competing in the postseason).
- All 30 NBA teams finished the season with at least one NBA D-League veteran on their roster. The Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons led the NBA with nine players with NBA D-League experience on their playoff
- 10 NBA teams featured seven or more former NBA D-League players on their rosters this past season.
- Four former NBA D-League coaches will be serving as NBA head coaches next season: Dave Joerger (Dakota Wizards/Memphis Grizzlies) Quinn Snyder (Austin Toros/Utah Jazz), Luke Walton (L.A. D-Fenders/L.A. Lakers), Earl Watson (Austin Spurs/Phoenix Suns).
- 42 GATORADE Call-Ups were conducted by NBA teams during the 2015-16 season.
NBA D-League Total Attendance
- 3 million fans attended NBA D-League games during the 2015-16 season, marking the seventh straight year that total attendance surpassed 1 million fans.
Record Jersey Partnerships
- A record 13 NBA D-League teams secured jersey partnerships for the 2015-16 season, up from nine last year: the Austin Spurs (Central Texas Pain Center), Bakersfield Jam (Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa), Canton Charge (MusclePharm), Delaware 87ers (DraftKings), Erie BayHawks (LECOM), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Lutheran Health Network), Grand Rapids Drive (Metro Health), Oklahoma City Blue (Continental Resources), Raptors 905 (BMO Harris), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Lone Star National Bank), Santa Cruz Warriors (Kaiser Permanente), Texas Legends (Avigilon), and Westchester Knicks (Chase).
- This year marked the first season that ESPNU presented a full slate of NBA D-League regular-season games and the second straight year that ESPN televised the entire postseason, with the playoffs and Finals airing on ESPNU.
- ESPNU and NBA TV combined to present 53 games this season over the regular season and postseason.
- The NBA D-League set records across social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube) for impressions (519 million, +29%) and video views (79 million, +137%).
- The NBA D-League set all-time highs on broadband and mobile with 15.5 million page views (+13%) and 4.3 million visits (+19%), with 2.2 million visits from mobile devices (+26%).
- Pepsi and Verizon joined a growing roster of corporate partners that includes Gatorade, Kaiser Permanente, and Samsung.
About the NBA Development League
The NBA Development League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 19 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2015-16 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time high 39 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2015-16 season boasted NBA D-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 D-League Cares programs. Fans can watch all NBA D-League games on nbadleague.com.
# # #