As a Portland resident and living most of my life in Maine it’s great having the Maine Red Claws only a few blocks away. They are one of the more exciting teams in the D-League and today we received some good news:
he Boston Celtics, the Maine Red Claws, and the NBA Development League today announced that the Celtics and Red Claws have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2012-13 NBA D-League season. Boston will be Maine’s sole NBA affiliate and will have full control over the team’s basketball operations.
This partnership, also referred to as the “hybrid affiliation,” is the fifth of its kind in the NBA D-League. It allows for NBA teams to secure control of and cover the expenses related to the basketball operations of an NBA D-League team while partnering with existing local ownership, which maintains responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations.
The Celtics join the Houston Rockets with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Brooklyn Nets with the Springfield Armor, the New York Knicks with the Erie BayHawks and the Portland Trail Blazers with the Idaho Stampede as NBA teams with “hybrid affiliations.”
Six other NBA teams are singly affiliated with their NBA D-League affiliates. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs fully own and operate the Canton Charge, Dakota Wizards, L.A. D-Fenders, Tulsa 66ers and Austin Toros, respectively, while the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends are one-to-one affiliates.
“The newly-enhanced relationship between the Celtics and Red Claws is an exciting development for both franchises,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed.
The Red Claws and Celtics have been affiliated since the 2009-10 season, Maine’s first in the NBA D-League, sharing the affiliation with the Charlotte Bobcats and the Philadephia 76ers during the 2011-12 season. New affiliates for the Bobcats and 76ers will be announced at a later date.
“We are excited to formalize an already great relationship we have established with Maine. Not only is it a perfect fit geographically, but the people of Maine are some of our most loyal Celtic fans, and Bill Ryan Jr. and the Red Claws staff have been great to work with,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “What a great opportunity for our young players to get game reps and develop their skills, while still maintaining the continuity and direction of our organization.”
Boston’s partnership with Maine follows the NBA D-League’s 11th and most successful season, where records were set with 60 GATORADE Call-Ups and 67 assignments, while 27 percent of players on 2011-12 NBA end-of-season rosters spent time in the NBA D-League. For the third consecutive year, the NBA D-League saw more than one million fans attend games across its 16 cities.
“The Maine Red Claws have enjoyed a strong three-year partnership with the Boston Celtics, dating back to the team’s inaugural season of 2009-10, and today we enter into a new era of that relationship,” said Maine Red Claws Team Chairman Bill Ryan, Jr. “The further strengthening of this partnership can only benefit both organizations, and we look forward to seeing Celtics talent come through Maine for years to come.”
About the NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 27 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 11th season, fans could watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.
About The Boston Celtics
A charter member of the Basketball Association of America (which evolved into the National Basketball Association) since 1946, the Boston Celtics have won a record 17 NBA Championships, including eight (8) in a row from 1959-1966, winning their first title in 1957 and their most recent in 2008. The Celtics have long stood for equality, and respect, including hiring the first African American Coach and starting the first all black starting five. In addition, 35 former Celtics players, management or staff have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In December 2002 the team returned to local ownership for the first time since 1963. For more information on the Celtics, log on to www.celtics.com.
About the Maine Red Claws
2011-12 marked the third season for the Maine Red Claws, the minor league affiliate of the Boston Celtics. The NBA Development League team plays its home games at the Portland Expo Building. The franchise is owned and operated by Maine Basketball, LLC, which is principally owned by Bill Ryan Sr., the retired chairman of TD Bank, and Bill Ryan Jr., owner and operator of Oxford Plains Speedway.