This season, Pistons' rookies Peyton Siva and Tony Mitchell hit the NBA D-League hardwood with the eventual minor league champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants while on assignment from Detroit.
The Pistons were one of six NBA teams to be affiliated with Fort Wayne this past year, but next season, the team's young guns are set to have a bit more of a personalized experience when assigned to the NBADL. A local ownership group has since purchased the Springfield Armor, and as such, the Pistons will enter a single minor league affiliation with a team in Grand Rapids.
On May 1st, the final four choices for a potential team name in Grand Rapids were announced on the team's minor league website. With three suggested by the fans and a fourth nominated by the Pistons organization, the finalists are as follows: "Blue Racers," "Chairmen," "Drive," and "Horsepower."
A term that does not appear before each respective team name suggestion, is "Grand Rapids," (i.e the Grand Rapids Drive). According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, no (pending) trademarks have been filed for any of the aforementioned team name suggestions with "Grand Rapids" in front of it.
It will be interesting to see how else the D-League team recognizes the local area within its chosen name.
On a related note, back in March, the NBA D-League filed for two patents each, one pertaining to "entertainment and educational services" and another pertaining to an assortment of team apparel) on each of the five team names with pending trademarks for the Knicks' forthcoming minor league team. And for what it's worth, each of those were filed with "New York" in the beginning of each name.