NEW YORK – The Utah Jazz, Idaho Stampede, and the NBA Development League today announced the Jazz and Stampede have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2014-15 NBA D-League season. Utah becomes the record 17th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.
The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the ninth of its kind in the NBA D-League and will enable the Jazz to manage all aspects of the Stampede’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership group headed by Bill Ilett will maintain primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.
“Partnering with the Idaho Stampede is another step forward in the growth and expansion of our basketball operations and will provide us with an opportunity to further enhance the development of our young players,” said Jazz President Randy Rigby. “Like the Jazz, the Stampede are a well-established franchise with a strong track record of success, and Boise’s proximity to Salt Lake and large contingent of Jazz fans make this the perfect fit. We look forward to working closely with Bill Ilett, Steve Brandes and the Stampede in our new single-affiliation partnership.”
Located less than 350 miles from Salt Lake City, the city of Boise has long had a strong Jazz fan base and has many ties to the Jazz organization. Utah previously shared affiliation with the Stampede during the 2006-07 and 2011-12 seasons. In addition, Utah held training camps on the campus of Boise State University from 2005-08, and has played eight preseason games in the state of Idaho over the years, six of which were in Boise, including one hosted by the Stampede vs. the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 11, 2013.
Since player assignments began in 2005, the Jazz has had five different NBA D-League shared affiliates and has assigned eight different players on a total of 20 assignments. The Jazz has also called up 11 different players from nine NBA D-League teams since the 2001-02 season, most recently guard Diante Garrett from the Iowa Energy, who became the NBA’s first NBA D-League Call-Up of 2013-14, on Nov. 13, 2013, and appeared in 71 games for the Jazz last season. The only Stampede player ever called up by the Jazz, Sundiata Gaines, hit one of the most memorable shots in Jazz franchise history – a dramatic buzzer-beating, game-winning three-pointer on the ninth day of his initial 10-day contract to beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 97-96, on January 14, 2010.
“The Idaho Stampede are thrilled to partner with the Utah Jazz, as their new single-affiliate team in the NBA D-League,” said Bill Ilett, managing investor of the Boise team. “Randy Rigby, Dennis Lindsey and their entire organization exemplify what is great about the NBA. We are excited to be a part of the development of their new young squad of players over the next several years. Basketball fans in Southern Idaho have always loved the Jazz and we are all now part of the Jazz family.”
Since joining the NBA D-League from the Continental Basketball Association prior to the 2006-07 season, the Stampede has produced nine GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA while helping an additional 18 NBA players develop their skills during assignments to Boise. The 2008 NBA D-League Champion, the Stampede has seen two coaches go on to the NBA, including Bryan Gates, an assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans and Scott Williams, an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks. During his tenure with the Stampede, Gates was a two-time recipient of the Dennis Johnson NBA D-League Coach of the Year Award (2007, 2008).
Utah’s partnership with Idaho follows the NBA D-League’s 13th and most successful season, where it saw 36 players earn 49 call-ups during the 2013-14 campaign. An all-time high 33 percent of all NBA players (149) on 2013-14 league end-of-season rosters boasted NBA D-League experience, including six members of the Jazz.
“With 17 NBA teams now having invested in one-to-one relationships with their NBA D-League affiliates, the NBA D-League’s importance to NBA teams couldn’t be clearer,” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. “The Jazz and Stampede already have a rich history of working together, and I’m sure this new partnership will be a successful one.”
The Jazz become the ninth NBA team to enter into a hybrid affiliation with an NBA D-League team for the 2014-15 season, joining the Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws), Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids NBA D-League Team), Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy), Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Orlando Magic (Erie Bayhawks), Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam) and Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns). Seven additional NBA teams will own and operate their NBA D-League affiliates for the 2014-15 season: Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors), Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders), New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks), Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers), Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers) and San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros). Additionally, the Dallas Mavericks have a single affiliation with the Texas Legends by way of Mavericks’ General Manager Donnie Nelson’s ownership of the Legends.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. Currently, NBA players in the first three years of their NBA careers may be assigned to their NBA D-League affiliate an unlimited number of times, according to the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, while players beyond the first three years of their NBA careers may be assigned to their NBA D-League affiliate with their consent and the consent of the NBA Players Association.