Tulsa’s Pro Basketball Franchise Ready for Play; League Renamed

TULSA MANAGEMENT: Joe Berry will be the president of the Tulsa team. He was previously associated with Octagon, the company that manages the LPGA’s John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic.

The new Tulsa professional basketball franchise is ready for action, and so is its league. The National Basketball Development League has changed its name to the NBA Development League to better reflect the future role of the league within the new NBA-NBPA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Along with the new name, the league has adopted new primary and secondary logos, a new official Spalding Infusion basketball, and several uniform enhancements.

The Tulsa team will hold an open house at the Expo Square Pavilion on Saturday, July 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the official name change, the league will also officially adopt the nickname of “D-League” already widely used by fans and players.

The Tulsa team will begin play in the Expo Square Pavilion Nov. 18 against Albuquerque and will finish the regular season Apr. 8 versus Ft. Worth.

“As a result of the new collective bargaining agreement, we will be playing a more important role for the NBA and we want to accentuate that relationship,” said NBA Development League president Phil Evans. “As we continue to enhance our ability to develop talent for NBA teams on and off the court, we want to ensure our affiliation with the NBA is more widely recognized.

The new league logo retains the “lay-up” logo man with addition of the “NBA DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE” word mark. A new secondary logo highlights the “D-LEAGUE” nickname linked in the “lay-up” man. The D-League has adopted royal and navy as signature colors for its icons as well as its new Spalding Infusion basketball, which features a dual-action pump that allows for inflation and deflation of air.

Other changes will include new game uniforms featuring the team nickname on home jerseys and the city name on road uniforms. In addition to distinctive D-League and individual team logos embroidered on the uniform, an NBA team logo will be affixed to the jersey of a player who is assigned to the D-League to help identify his NBA affiliation.

The NBA Development League includes the Fayetteville Patriots (N.C.), Florida Flame (Ft. Myers), Roanoke Dazzle (Va.), Arkansas RimRockers (Little Rock), as well as Albuquerque (N.M.), Tulsa (Okla.) and Austin and Fort Worth (Texas). The Tulsa nickname will be announced in late July.

The league offers players the opportunity to develop their talent in a highly competitive atmosphere under the NBA’s umbrella. Thirty-four players have been called up to the NBA on 50 separate occasions. Ten former D-League coaches, five athletic trainers, 11 referees and 29 front office executives have also been called up since the start of the league’s inaugural season in November 2001. Six additional front office executives have earned positions with other major league sports.

Designed to help grow the sport of basketball both domestically and internationally, the league also offers fun, family entertainment at affordable prices. The D-League is a source of on-court talent for the NBA’s 30 teams and is a diverse human resources pool for the NBA and its teams by training employees in management, operations, public relations, sales and marketing positions.

For information about the Tulsa team, including ticket information, call 918-585-8444.

Updated 07-25-2005

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