The Texas Legends, this season's newest expansion team in the NBA Development League, aren't averse to being a bit innovative - I mean, just look at the scouting skills of J.R. Slagendorff. You could also add the hiring of Nancy Lieberman to the "innovative list" as well as now being the first multi-nationally owned team in the D-League.
D-League sources told ESPN.com that the Frisco-based Texas Legends - who already employ Nancy Lieberman as the first-ever female head coach of a team under the NBA's umbrella -- will announce Tuesday that Chinese sports entrepreneur Sonny Xiao is joining the franchise as a co-owner.
Sources said that Xiao - who will team with Mavs president Donnie Nelson and local businessman Evan Wyly in the Legends' ownership group - has been approved by the NBA and will thus become the first Chinese-born owner of an NBA-affiliated team.
Xiao, who completed a portion of his education at SMU and is a co-founder of RXtreme Sports Consulting in China, can still claim that distinction because a signed agreement in 2009 that would have transferred a 15-percent stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers to a group of Chinese investors fell through and was never executed.
I honestly can't wait to see what else the Legends do this season - and that's a good thing for the marketing of the D-League.
Oh, also, fun fact time (Courtesy ESPN Dallas):
The Mavericks, thanks largely to Nelson, have had strong ties to China for more than a decade, dating to the selection of Wang Zhizhi with the 36th overall pick in the 1999 draft.