New York Knicks To Own and Operate Their Own Team in NBA D-League

Nick Laham

The New York Knicks will own and operate their own NBA D-League team in White Plains, starting next fall.

According to a local County Executive, the New York Knicks are planning to own and operate their own team in the NBA D-League. For more details, continue reading below:

Under the proposed plan, which will be presented to the county's Board of Acquisition & Contract on Thursday, the County Center in White Plains would be the home of a New York Knicks-affiliated NBA Development League team. The NBA D-League features professional basketball players who hope to earn spots on NBA teams as well as current NBA players

The team would play 24 home games at the County Center between November and April with the possibility of up to six playoff games in April. Once the proposal is approved by the Board of Acquisition & Contract, a formal licensing agreement would be signed by the county and MSG.

The overall plan is still subject to the final approval of the NBA. The proposed deal is being structured as a five-year licensing agreement with an option for MSG to renew for a second five years.

A couple of things to note here:

1) The D-League team in White Plains will NOT be the Erie BayHawks. The BayHawks aren't moving. Instead, the Knicks will start from scratch, or instead be "forced" to purchase a present idle D-League team (see the Delaware 87ers and Utah Flash) to transform.

2) Though the Knicks are affiliated with the BayHawks, the squad's NBA personnel (such as Allan Houston) are only responsible for the basketball side of operations. This is considered a hybrid-affiliation. Other employees in Erie (not affiliated with the Knicks directly) handle the business side of operations. In owning and operating their own D-League team, the Knicks would have to employ personnel to be concerned with all sides of operations.

3) A source tells that because Erie's coaching staff is obviously attached to the basketball side of things, it would appear that the coaches are employed by the Knicks, rather than the BayHawks. Will Coach Gene Cross and his staff be headed to White Plains next season?

4) This move (or expansion, rather) has been in the works for a while. There was even a survey sent around to New York Knicks fans last fall, gauging interest in a D-League team in White Plains.

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