Grand Rapids Drive
|Grand Rapids Drive|
|Grand Rapids Drive logo|
|League||NBA Development League|
Grand Rapids Drive
|Team colors||Red, blue, white
|Head coach||Otis Smith|
|Ownership||SSJ Group (Steve Jbara, Primary Owner)|
|Affiliation(s)||Detroit Pistons (2014–present)|
The Grand Rapids Drive is an NBA Development League team based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the minor league affiliate of the Detroit Pistons. The franchise began as the Anaheim Arsenal in 2006, before relocating to Springfield, Massachusetts in 2009 and becoming the Springfield Armor. After five seasons in Springfield, the franchise were moved to Grand Rapids in 2014 and were subsequently renamed the Grand Rapids Drive. They play their home games at the DeltaPlex Arena in nearby Walker.
2006–2009: Anaheim Arsenal
The franchise began life in 2006 as the Anaheim Arsenal. Based in Anaheim, California, and playing at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Arsenal was the first professional basketball team to call the city home since the Los Angeles Clippers played occasional games there in the 1990s. However, the Arsenal era was mainly marked by futility, never having accomplished a winning season or a playoff berth. On March 31, 2009, the Arsenal announced that they would relocate to Springfield.
2009–2014: Springfield Armor
On July 29, 2009, it was announced that Dee Brown would become the head coach. On September 2, the Armor picked first in the 2009 NBA Development League Expansion Draft, selecting center Marcus Campbell. The team ended their inaugural 2009–2010 season with a record of 7–43, the worst record in NBADL history.
During the 2010–11 season, the Armor started by picking 5th in the D-League Draft, and selected La Salle's Vernon Goodridge. The Armor would end up finishing with a record of 13–37, sixth in the seven-team Eastern Conference. After the season, head coach Dee Brown opted to leave the team to join the Detroit Pistons. Brown was replaced soon after by Bob MacKinnon, Jr.
For the 2011–12 season, the Armor entered into a single affiliation partnership with the Brooklyn Nets, giving the Nets full control over the basketball operations of and making them the sole affiliate for the Armor. The Nets became the second NBA team to enter into a single affiliation with an NBA D-League team, joining the Houston Rockets and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
2014–present: A new beginning in Grand Rapids
On April 15, 2014, it was announced that the SSJ Group purchased the Springfield Armor and would relocate the team to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the 2014–15 season. The Grand Rapids franchise will be locally owned and will establish a single-franchise "hybrid" affiliation with the Detroit Pistons.
The team launched a 'name the team' contest shortly after the formal announcement. The contest produced four finalists: Drive, Chairmen, Horsepower, and Blue Racers. The community was encouraged to vote online in order to determine which of the Final Four names would become the official team name. Out of the final four names to choose from, the Grand Rapids Drive was selected as the team's name.
The affiliation between the Pistons and the Drive is the third between the two cities as the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League also share an affiliation, as do the Detroit Tigers of the American League and the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League.
Season by season
|Season||Division||Regular Season||Postseason Results|
|2011–12||Eastern||1st||29||21||.580||Lost Round 1 (Canton)|
|Grand Rapids Drive|
|Regular Season Record||194||306||.388||2006–present|
Grand Rapids Drive roster
- http://www.nba.com/dleague/springfield/ NBA Development League Team Comes To Springfield, Massachusetts
- "Springfield Armor of NBA D-League name former Boston Celtics player Dee Brown head coach". masslive.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- "NBA Development League: 2009 Expansion Draft Board". Nba.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Thomas, Jeff (November 2, 2010). "Armor select La Salle's Goodridge with first pick in D-League Draft". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Thomas, Jeff (September 12, 2011). "Dee Brown out as Springfield Armor coach; Bob MacKinnon in?". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Thomas, Jeff (September 14, 2011). "Springfield Armor introduce Bob MacKinnon, Jr. as their new head coach". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- New Jersey Nets To Run Basketball Operations Of Springfield Armor In 2011-12
- Nets to Run Basketball Ops of D-League's Springfield Armor
- Wallner, Peter (May 1, 2014). "Grand Rapids NBA D-League team announces four name finalists". Mlive.com. Retrieved Mar 1, 2014.
- "Detroit Pistons NBA D-League Affiliate Reveals Name: Grand Rapids Drive". June 17, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Wallner, Peter (June 17, 2014). "Grand Rapids NBA D-League team gets a nickname, and vote wasn't even close". Mlive.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.