The NBA Development League and The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) today announced that MSG has acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will play in White Plains, New York. The new team will be the NBA D-League’s record 18th team and will be the exclusive affiliate of the New York Knicks, playing its home games at the Westchester County Center, approximately 30 miles north of New York City. With the purchase, the Knicks become the seventh NBA team to fully own and operate their own NBA D-League affiliate.
“We are thrilled to work with the New York Knicks and Westchester County to bring NBA D-League basketball to White Plains,” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League president. “The New York area has a rich basketball history and we’re excited to give some of the game’s best fans the opportunity to watch top NBA prospects up close and personal in an intimate, family-friendly and affordable environment.”
Allan Houston, the Knicks’ Assistant General Manager, will serve as the new team’s General Manager, while Bill Boyce joins the MSG family as the vice president of sales and business operations for the club in Westchester, reporting to Dave Howard, president of MSG Sports. Bill joins MSG after four years as the president of the NBA D-League’s Frisco-based Texas Legends.
“We are very excited to bring a New York Knicks NBA Development League franchise to Westchester, a great basketball community that has embraced orange and blue and served as our training home for 25 plus years,” said Houston. “The NBA D-League is thriving, and this opportunity allows us to develop players closer to our training facility, and to provide high level, affordable basketball entertainment to the community.”
The Knicks are inviting fans to help choose the name for the new team. From now until March 24, fans can go to NYKnicksDLeague.com to submit their names online. Following the submission process, fans will go back to the same website to vote for the final team name. In addition, beginning today, fans can enter to win two full season tickets on the website; the sweepstakes will run until April 11.
“Westchester County is proud to be teaming up with three great organizations – the NBA Development League, The Madison Square Garden Company and the New York Knicks,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “What’s exciting is that the partnership works on so many levels. It brings professional basketball to the County Center. It offers fans and families a lot of fun and thrills at an affordable price. And it will generate revenues and new jobs for the county at no cost to taxpayers. It all adds up to a winning combination.”
For the 2013-14 season, the NBA D-League features 17 teams, 14 of which are singly affiliated with their NBA parent clubs. Complete NBA and NBA D-League affiliations for the 2014-15 season will be announced over the summer.
More than 30 percent of current NBA players, including five current Knicks, have NBA D-League experience, while more than 40 percent of players drafted into the NBA over the last five years have spent time in the NBA D-League. To date, 27 NBA D-League players have earned 31 “Call-Ups” to the NBA this season, while 56 NBA players have seen action in the NBA D-League on assignment from their NBA parent clubs during the 2013-14 campaign.