The NBA Development League and Hornets Sports & Entertainment today announced that the Charlotte Hornets have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team. The team will be located in Greensboro, N.C., and will play its 24 home games at the Pavilion at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, which will be renovated into a basketball fieldhouse, beginning with the 2016-17 season. With the purchase, the Hornets become the record 11th NBA team to fully own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate, while the NBA D-League expands to a record 20 teams.
“Today is a historic day for the NBA D-League, the Hornets and the city of Greensboro,” said Malcolm Turner, NBA D-League President. “Having a 20th NBA D-League team, and the 11th that is owned by an NBA team, is an important and noteworthy achievement. We are thrilled to welcome Hornets Sports & Entertainment into the growing family of NBA D-League owners and are excited to continue to work with the city of Greensboro to bring NBA D-League basketball to fans across the state of North Carolina. I’m already looking forward to tipping off the team’s first season in November of next year.”
“This is an important step for our franchise,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment Chairman Michael Jordan. “Having our own team will allow us to use the NBA D-League in a more efficient and worthwhile way. By operating our own club, it will be a seamless transition for our players, coaches and front office when we assign a player because the NBA D-League team will follow the same principles and run the same sets as the Hornets. Placing the team in Greensboro also allows us to expand the Hornets’ brand to another city in our region that has a great basketball tradition.”
Four members of the current Hornets roster have played in the NBA’s official minor league - Troy Daniels, P.J. Hairston, Jeremy Lamb and Jeremy Lin. The Hornets assigned two players to develop their games in the NBA D-League last season, and they have signed 12 players from the League since the 2004-05 campaign, including 2004-05 NBA D-League MVP Matt Carroll. Additionally, Charlotte assistant coaches Pat Delany and Steve Hetzel joined the Hornets following stints as NBA D-League head coaches in Sioux Falls and Canton, respectively.
The Hornets, who began the process to acquire an NBA D-League team earlier this year, join the Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors), Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants), Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders), New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks), Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue), Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers), San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs), Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905) and Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede) as NBA teams to fully own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate.
Located 90 miles northeast of Charlotte, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex is a multi-building facility that includes the 22,000-seat Greensboro Coliseum; the 167,000-square-foot Special Events Center, which includes a 5,000-seat mini-arena; the 30,000-square-foot Pavilion; the 7,600-seat White Oak Amphitheatre; a 12,000-square-foot banquet facility; the 300-seat Odeon Theatre; the Greensboro Aquatic Center; and the ACC Hall of Champions. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex hosts more than 1,100 events annually and has welcomed more than 60 million guests since its grand opening.