The Orlando Magic, Erie BayHawks, and the NBA Development League announced that the Magic and BayHawks have entered into a three-year single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2014-15 NBA D-League season. Orlando becomes the record 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is the presenting partner and jersey sponsor of the BayHawks. The press conference to announce the partnership was held at the LECOM Medical Fitness & Wellness Center. Silvia Ferretti, DO, Provost, Senior Vice President, and Dean of Academic Affairs, represented the College at the media announcement.
The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the eighth of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows an NBA team to control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.
|Matt Bresee, president of the Erie BayHawks, discusses the team’s new affiliation with the Orlando Magic during a press conference at the LECOM Medical Fitness & Wellness Center.
“We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the BayHawks,” said Alex Martins, Chief Executive Officer of the Magic. “We feel this hybrid relationship will further assist our efforts in regards to developing NBA talent, while providing Erie with a team they can be proud of. I would like to thank Steve Demetriou. His vision and values fit very well with ours and we are excited about this exclusive affiliation.”
The BayHawks, which just finished their sixth NBA D-League season in Erie, previously have been affiliated with the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors and have produced four NBA D-League All-Stars and developed 11 players who earned GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA. Additionally, the BayHawks have welcomed 15 NBA players on assignment, including Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets and Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs.
“We’re thrilled to have the Orlando Magic as our new NBA affiliate,” said Demetriou, the BayHawks’ majority owner. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know Alex Martins and other members of the Magic management team, and we are extremely excited to join forces with this first class organization. The Magic are aligned with our goals of providing an outstanding product on and off the court that our fans, corporate partners and the Erie community can continue to be proud of.”
The NBA D-League, entering its 14th season for 2014-15, saw a record 36 players earn 49 call-ups during the 2013-14 campaign. An all-time high 33 percent of all NBA players (149) on 2013-14 NBA end-of-season rosters now boast NBA D-League experience, including two members of the Magic. A record 62 NBA players honed their skills on assignment in the NBA D-League last season, while the league reached record totals in attendance drawing over five percent more fans than the previous year. For the fifth consecutive year, the league reached the one million fan plateau.
“The Magic’s partnership with the BayHawks is yet another example of the increasing significance of the NBA D-League to NBA teams, as more than half of all NBA teams have now invested in an exclusive NBA D-League affiliate” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. “The BayHawks and Magic are two excellent organizations with outstanding leadership, and I know they will be great partners.”
The Magic become the eighth NBA team to enter into a hybrid affiliation with an NBA D-League team for the 2014-15 season, joining the Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws), Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids NBA D-League Team), Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy), Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam) and Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns). Seven additional NBA teams will own and operate their NBA D-League affiliates for the 2014-15 season: Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors), Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders), New York Knicks (Westchester NBA D-League Team), Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers), Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers) and San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros). Additionally, the Dallas Mavericks have a single affiliation with the Texas Legends by way of Mavericks’ General Manager Donnie Nelson’s ownership of the Legends.