The New Jersey Nets are dipping their toes and more into the NBA Development League by agreeing to take over the basketball operations of the Springfield Amor next season.
The Nets are the second team to broker such an arrangement while entering into a single-affiliation setup with Springfield. The Houston Rockets pioneered the “hybrid” model to great success with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the defending D-League champs.
The NBA team in the hybrid model assumes control and is responsible for all expenses involved in all basketball decisions, including the hiring of a coaching staff and management team, and building the roster. Local ownership maintains responsibility for off-the-court business operations. The setup is similar to a Major League baseball team and its minor league affiliates.
Billionaire Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants his Nets to be the league’s first global team. The partnership with Springfield helps build the operation at home, as the Prokhorov crew gets another basketball team to work with and gain experience from.
Starting next season, the Nets will be able to assign their players to Springfield to play under their hand-picked coaches in their system.
“We feel that the ‘hybrid’ arrangement will allow our basketball team to maximize its affiliation with the NBA D-League and allow Springfield to serve as a fertile training ground for our players, coaches and front office personnel, only strengthening our basketball product,” Nets general manager Billy King said.
The Armor’s current affiliations for this season are with the Nets, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.