The Brooklyn Nets has become the latest NBA basketball franchise to acquire the right to own and operate a team in the D-League development competition.
The newly-formed Long Island Nets team will enter the league ahead of the 2016-17 season and will initially play its home games at the Barclays Center, the home of its parent club, before moving to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is currently undergoing redevelopment work, the following year.
The creation of the Long Island Nets brings the total number of D-League teams to 21. The Brooklyn Nets become the 12th NBA team to own a D-League affiliate.
“The Long Island Nets will be a great brand extension of the Brooklyn Nets, and will give us the opportunity to reclaim a territory that was once ours,” Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center chief executive Brett Yormark said. “The creation of the Long Island Nets is indicative of our ownership’s commitment to the Nets and to the franchise’s future success. The new team will also serve as a proving ground for up-and-coming talent in all areas of our business.”
The franchise currently has five former D-League players on its books. It is hoped that number will increase now that Brooklyn has its own affiliate team from which to handpick players.
Malcolm Turner, NBA D-League president, added: “The NBA D-League is a place where talented young athletes refine their skills and develop into NBA contributors, and fans in Brooklyn, and later on Long Island, are sure to enjoy watching current and future NBA talent in an affordable, family-friendly atmosphere.”
Fellow NBA franchises the Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors have in the past few months acquired D-League teams of their own.