The NBA G League announced today that 18 teams, including 17 NBA G League teams and G League Ignite, will take to the court in February at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. The top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff. “We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”
The 17 participating NBA G League teams are: Agua Caliente Clippers (LA Clippers), Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Delaware Blue Coats (Philadelphia 76ers), Erie BayHawks (New Orleans Pelicans), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers), Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets), Iowa Wolves (Minnesota Timberwolves), Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic), Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies), Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder), Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets), Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz), Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors), Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks)
The NBA G League is focused on Orlando's Disney campus as its bubble playing site for the 2021 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, with tipoff tentatively scheduled for Feb. 8, sources tell The Athletic's Shams Charania.
G League teams have been given tentative dates to prepare for, subject to change: 1. Jan. 19, arrival in their home markets for physicals and onboarding 2. Jan. 26, teams arrive at the single site in Orlando 3. Tip-off set for Feb. 8, with the tentative playoff schedule will be from March 5 to March 9. The G League is expected to play a 12-to-15-game schedule, sources said.
The following 11 franchises will not send a G League affiliate: Atlanta (College Park Skyhawks), Boston (Maine Red Claws), Chicago (Windy City Bulls), Dallas (Texas Legends), Detroit (Grand Rapids Drive), Los Angeles Lakers (South Bay Lakers), Miami (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Milwaukee (Wisconsin Herd), Phoenix (Northern Arizona Suns), Sacramento (Stockton Kings) and Washington (Capital City Go-Go; will utilize Erie).
Adam Johnson: Per league sources, these teams are expected to participate in the G League bubble: Agua Caliente Austin Canton Delaware Erie/Capital City Fort Wayne Greensboro Ignite Iowa Lakeland Long Island Memphis Raptors 905 Salt Lake Santa Cruz Westchester
Fred Katz: Things are trending toward the Wizards using the Pelicans' G League team, the Erie Bayhawks, as their G League affiliate in the bubble, according to sources. The two organizations would each chip in some of the cost of going to the bubble.
The NBA is putting the finishing touches on plans for an NBA G League Bubble this upcoming February, and according to a report from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Bubble will include 17 affiliate teams from across the NBA as well as the G League Ignite squad, led by top NBA Draft prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and Daishen Nix.
Stefan Bondy: Per source, the tentative G League schedule: Jan. 29: Training camp opens at bubble site. Feb. 8: Season starts March 5: Playoffs start *the hope is that the bubble site is Atlanta but that’s not set.
The NBA's G League is determined to push forward with its season despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, league sources have told ESPN. In the face of health and financial concerns, a primary motivation is to not let the league-run Ignite team fall on its face in the program's inaugural campaign. Some of the top prospects in the country are on team Ignite.
In order to support a season, the G League plans to mimic the NBA's "bubble" model, and is eyeing Atlanta as its temporary home after also considering Orlando, Florida, league sources told ESPN. The G League season, normally a 50-game slate from early November until late March followed by playoffs, would be truncated to go from January until March, sources said.
Preliminarily, 10 teams, including the South Bay Lakers and the Maine Red Claws (the Boston Celtics' affiliate) indicated they will opt out, sources told ESPN. The G League has received commitments from about a dozen teams, including the Ignite, sources told ESPN, and await final decisions from a handful of other franchises. With the details surrounding the upcoming season being so fluid, the teams on the fence are not sure what exactly they would be committing to, sources told ESPN.
Adam Zagoria: League source says there's a 'big chance' the G League bubble won’t happen in GA due to logistical reasons. Team presidents are due to have a call next week to 'sort out things and get closer to a final decision,' source says.
Marc Berman: Knicks signing Bryce Brown for G League action. Looks like this Atlanta bubble will feature about a dozen teams and start around Jan. 10, per source.
Stefan Bondy: The Westchester Knicks are among the teams expected to participate in the G League bubble in Atlanta, according to sources. There's a financial cost to playing and some teams are opting out.
Barry Jackson: Per source, Heat will not field G-League team this year. G-League is expected to field teams in a bubble in an Atlanta suburb. Heat will not participate. Heat's 2-way players (Vincent & likely either Eboua, Tyree, Strus or BJ Johnson) will stay with Heat, can play 50 games each
Jared Weiss: The Celtics are opting out of the NBA’s preliminary plans for a G-League bubble, sources tell @The Athletic. Details on the league’s planning stage, impact on Exhibit 10 contracts and what this means for the Maine Red Claws: theathletic.com/2241819/2020/1…
The NBA G League and its teams are currently considering the possibility of playing a 2020-21 season that would take place either fully or partially in a bubble, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
The G League, the NBA’s developmental league, is made up of 28 teams who are each affiliated with one NBA team as a sort of minor-league feeder system for parent organizations to develop young talent and look for diamonds in the rough. The G League suspended its 2019-20 season on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic before canceling it entirely on June 4. Unlike NBA teams — who fly in private jets and are thus more easily and safely able to isolate during travel — G League teams have always flown on commercial airlines, making getting anywhere during a pandemic a much less safe proposition for them than it is for their parent teams.
April 20, 2021 | 8:02 pm EDT Update
Bobby Marks: Julius Randle has now played in 58 games. If the Knicks earn a spot in the top 6 or make the playoffs as a result of the play-in tournament, Randle will earn a $945K bonus. Randle has already earned a $945K bonus for his selection to the All-Star game.
Sarah K. Spencer: Trae Young is wearing goggles/glasses tonight — he took an accidental hit to his right eyelid last game, which led to some swelling and soreness. It didn’t affect his vision at all. The goggles are a precaution.
Jordan Brand has unveiled Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson’s first signature sneaker and apparel line. The Zion 1 marks a new era for Jordan as Williamson represents the brand’s first Gen Z signature athlete on a talented roster that includes Luka Dončić, Jayson Tatum, Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal and Caris LeVert. “Words can’t really explain it. As a kid you just say it to put in the atmosphere like, Hey, I want my own signature shoe, but as you get older you see it is tough to get your own signature shoe,” says Williamson. “Things have to really go your way, and I just want to thank Jordan Brand for the opportunity because I don’t think it has hit me yet.”
Williamson says there were a lot of Zoom calls in the process but mentioned that he would get lost in thought about this actually happening. “What makes my signature line unique is that you are going to find a lot of gems within the line and you are going to learn about me. I am a very out-there guy, but when you actually get to know me, I am just this super chill and down-to-earth dude.”
Jordan Brand designers spoke highly about working with Williamson on his first signature shoe. “We are working with one of the most humbled athletes I think we have seen with the brand. His humility and down-to-earth manner were just refreshing to see and how he approached this entire process,” says Jarrett Mann, product director of Jordan Brand Footwear. “It was an 18-month process working with a 19-year-old signature athlete and the first Gen Z signature athlete. We wanted this to be the beginning of a shoe that bridges the gap from this generation but also have that Jordan DNA.”