Tulsa 66ers Announce 2007-08 NBA Affiliates
July 5, 2007 - NBA G League (G League) - Tulsa 66ers News Release
TULSA, Okla., July 5, 2007 - The National Basketball Association announced today its new affiliation assignments for the NBA Development League. Under this system, the Tulsa 66ers will continue their relationship with the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks, and add the Dallas Mavericks.
"The NBA Development League has played an integral role in the development of our young players," said Donn Nelson, Dallas Mavericks President of Basketball Operations. "Maurice Ager, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Jose Barea have all flourished as a result of their D-League experience. The combination of NBA quality competition and coaching makes the D-League the ideal NBA springboard. It's a place where hard work can turn dreams into reality."
Each of the 15 D-League teams will be affiliated with one-to-three NBA teams, and the NBA teams may assign players in their first two seasons to play in the D-League.
"The D-League is an excellent opportunity for younger players to play and further develop their skills," said Milwaukee Bucks General Manager Larry Harris. "Over the last two years in Tulsa, Ersan Ilyasova and Damir Markota have each made significant progress in their development by gaining invaluable on-court game experience. We look forward to our continued association with the NBA Development League."
Since the NBA began the assignment system with the D-League prior to the 2005-06 season, NBA teams have assigned 53 players a total of 77 times, including 30 selections from the 2005 and 2006 NBA Drafts. Last season, a total of 47 former NBA draft picks played in the D-League. Lottery selections such as Portland's Martell Webster (6th pick overall in 2005), Golden State's Patrick O'Bryant (9th pick, 2006) and Seattle's Mouhamed Sene (10th pick, 2006) were assigned to their respective team's D-League affiliate.
"We are excited about the NBA announcement affiliating the D-League teams again this year. This has been a great opportunity for both organizations and the players to benefit," said Jono Helmerich, Tulsa 66ers team president. "Not only will the D-League get caliber players coming directly from the NBA, but the NBA will get rising stars out of the D-League."
The current system will be reviewed by the NBA after the 2007-08 season, and if additional D-League teams are added for the 2008-09 season, affiliations will be adjusted to correspond with the total number of D-League teams.
Entering its seventh season, the D-League - the NBA's minor league established to develop talent across all disciplines for the NBA - will be relocating its headquarters from Greenville, S.C. to New York City to help foster the D-League's continued growth by giving it direct access to the support and resources of the NBA and WNBA. During the 2006-07 season, 19 NBA teams assigned 24 players to D-League rosters, and 14 NBA teams called-up 16 players (Gatorade Call-ups') while 31 D-League alumni participated in the NBA Playoffs. Additionally, every referee hired by the NBA since 2002 has worked in the D-League, while coaches, athletic trainers and front office executives are also being developed.
Designed to help grow the sport of basketball both domestically and internationally, the D-League offers NBA-quality basketball and fun, family entertainment at affordable prices. For additional information on the NBA Development League and the Tulsa 66ers, visit www.tulsa66ers.com.
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