On Tuesday, the NBA D-League announced that the Phoenix Suns and Bakersfield Jam have entered into a single affiliation. Though such a kind of relationship will be a fresh one, both organizations have familiarity with one another, as the Suns have been one of Bakersfield's multiple NBA team affiliates over recent years.
Now, the Suns will have complete control and utter over basketball operations. To start things off, they named a new General Manager, and hired the team's next head coach. For more, continue reading below for the league's official release:
"This investment by the Suns not only demonstrates how important an exclusive NBA D-League affiliation has become to an NBA team, but is also a strong endorsement of the excellent organization and resources Stan Ellis and David Higdon have put in place in Bakersfield," said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. "This partnership also commemorates a very important milestone for the NBA D-League, as half of all NBA teams are now investing in an exclusive ‘one-to-one' affiliation with an NBA D-League team."
Phoenix has named Bubba Burrage, the Suns' Head Pro Personnel Scout for the past three seasons, as the General Manager in Bakersfield. Burrage brings 21 years of experience in the NBA, holding scouting, coaching, video and front office positions. Burrage will continue scouting in addition to serving as General Manager of the Jam.
The Suns have also hired long-time NBA D-League coach Nate Bjorkgren to helm Bakersfield for the 2014-15 campaign. Bjorkgren joins the Jam having amassed a 92-58 record as a head coach for the Dakota Wizards, Santa Cruz Warriors and Iowa Energy. Bjorkgren led the 13-14 Energy to the Central Division Championship and the 12-13 Warriors to the NBA D-League Finals.