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NBA D-League Season Preview
The 2015-16 NBA Development League season tips off Thursday, Nov. 12, with the Westchester Knicks hosting the Maine Red Claws at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y Below is information that can be used when speaking about the start of the NBA D-League season with business associates, family, or friends. These themes will also be posted on Home Court. For more information,read this comprehensive offseason recap and the NBA D-League fact sheet.
North of the Border: The 2015-16 NBA D-League season will feature an all-time high 19 teams with the addition of Raptors 905, the affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. The team will play its home games at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, about an hour southwest of Toronto.
NBA Affiliated: For the first time, all NBA D-League teams are either owned or operated by their NBA parent clubs. During the offseason, the Indiana Pacers bought the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, while the Utah Jazz purchased the Idaho Stampede NBA teams that do not have a direct affiliation with an NBA D-League team can assign players to the NBA D-League using the flexible assignment system.
Record Numbers: A record 132 players on NBA start-of-season rosters – almost 30% – spent time in the NBA D-League. Each NBA team has at least one former NBA D-League player, with the Detroit Pistons leading the way with eight NBA D-League alumni. NBA head coaches Dave Joerger (Memphis) and Quin Snyder (Utah) and 33 NBA assistant coaches across 22 NBA teams also spent time in the NBA D-League on their way to NBA benches.
Testing Ground: The NBA D-League continues to be the NBA's research and development arm, testing innovative rules like the Coaches' Challenge and the Advance Rule, both of which were implemented prior to the 2014-15 season.
A Season to Develop: Six members of the 2015 NBA draft class are spending the season in the NBA D-League playing for their NBA team’s affiliate. Cady Lalanne (San Antonio Spurs/Austin Spurs), Sir’Dominic Pointer (Cleveland Cavaliers/Canton Charge), Tyler Harvey (Orlando Magic/Erie BayHawks), Andrew Harrison (Memphis Grizzlies/Iowa Energy), Dakari Johnson (Oklahoma City Thunder/Oklahoma City Blue), and Satnam Singh (Dallas Mavericks/Texas Legends) will all use the 2015-16 season to develop their games in the NBA’s official minor league.
Coaches’ Corner: Texas Legends Head Coach Nick Van Exel is one of eight new head coaches in the NBA D-League this season. He becomes one of a number of former NBA players to use the NBA D-League to hone his coaching skills, including Golden State Interim Head Coach Luke Walton and NBA assistant coaches Darvin Ham (Atlanta), Robert Pack (New Orleans) and Conner Henry (Orlando), who all began their coaching careers in the NBA D-League.
Global Game: Satnam Singh, the first Indian-born player to be selected in an NBA Draft, and Sim Bhullar, the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA (when he suited up for the Sacramento Kings last season), will play with the Texas Legends and Raptors 905, respectively. Bobby Ray Parks, a native of the Philippines, will join Singh on the Legends’ roster.
Showcase Returns to Santa Cruz: The 2016 NBA D-League Showcase presented by Samsung will return to Kaiser Permanente Arena in January, with the Santa Cruz Warriors hosting the 12th annual event Jan. 6-10. The Showcase will feature all 19 NBA D-League teams playing two regular-season games apiece.