|Texas Legends logo|
|League||NBA Development League|
|Arena||Dr Pepper Arena|
|Team colors||Navy, Light Royal, Silver, White, Black
|Head coach||Nick Van Exel|
|Ownership||Texas D-League Management, LLC|
|Division / Conference titles||1 (2009)|
The Texas Legends are an NBA Development League team based in Frisco, Texas and the minor league affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks. The franchise began as the Colorado 14ers in 2006, before relocating to Frisco in 2009 and becoming the Texas Legends for the 2010–11 season. The Legends play their home games at the Dr Pepper Arena.
In 2006, Colorado businessmen Tim Wiens and John Frew, who were building the Broomfield Event Center as the centerpiece of the Arista development of Broomfield, Colorado, quickly sought to gain a new minor league basketball team for the venue and the surrounding community, believing minor league teams could be a hit in the northwest Denver-Boulder region. In February that year, the pair launched two sports teams, the Rocky Mountain Rage, a minor-league hockey franchise, and the Colorado 14ers, originally a Continental Basketball Association club. However, two months later, the 14ers entered the NBA Development League and began play in the 2006–07 season. The franchise was named after Colorado's famed 14,000-foot mountain peaks.
Onetime Denver Nugget Joe Wolf was hired to be the 14ers' inaugural coach, as he and management put together one of the D-League's most formidable rosters. Finding quick success in their inaugural season, the 14ers shattered Colorado minor league basketball records of many kinds from scoring to fan attendance. Team leaders included Von Wafer and Louis Amundson, who were each permanently called up to the NBA by the end of the season. Nevertheless, the talented and resilient team overcame losing stretches and roster reorganizations, and qualified for the playoffs in their first season. The 14ers made an impressive run through the playoffs, winning the Western Division title before losing the championship game in overtime to the Dakota Wizards.
The 14ers' second season began with an almost entirely new roster, with only Elton Brown and Eric Osmundson remaining from the team's inaugural year. Newcomers included area products Kaniel Dickens who quickly emerged as one of the top players on the team, as well as Eddie Gill, selected in the draft, who was called up to the NBA before even playing a game with the 14ers (and eventually returned to become a powerful force on the team). Kevin Hill, also picked in the draft, was the only Canadian selected in the 2007 draft. Despite considerable roster turnover, which included Brown's departure as well as an impressive five call-ups to the NBA (including the rare simultaneous call-ups of Dickens and Billy Thomas on February 22 by the Cleveland Cavaliers), the 14ers fared as well as they did in their first year, finishing the regular season with one more win than in 2006–07. The 14ers' six-game winning streak at the end of the season vaulted them into the playoffs as a wild card, but they lost in the first round to the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Despite this and a slippage in fan attendance, it was overall a successful season under at times challenging circumstances.
Colorado's third season, the most of any minor league basketball franchise in the state, was a triumph over adversity. The season began with ownership increasingly falling upon hard times, having a new coach, Robert MacKinnon, after Joe Wolf had ascended to the NBA, and an almost completely remade roster with returnees Eddie Gill and Billy Thomas being joined by Jamar Brown, who previously played for the Colorado Crossover. Newcomers Dominique Coleman and Josh Davis were both major contributors, as was Sonny Weems, assigned from the Denver Nuggets three times to contribute during the regular season and playoffs. From the beginning, the 14ers were a formidable force in the D-League, pulling into the league lead for wins and setting the D-League record for points in a game with a 147–119 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on March 10, then breaking that record with a 155–127 win over the Albuquerque Thunderbirds on April 8. Finishing with a franchise-record 34 wins, the 14ers had home court advantage throughout the playoffs, soundly defeating the Erie Bayhawks, rallying to beat the Austin Toros, and sweeping the Utah Flash in the Finals to claim the 2008–09 D-League championship.
On June 18, 2009, Dallas Mavericks executive Donnie Nelson purchased the 14ers franchise and moved the team to Frisco, Texas. They were slated to begin play in 2010–11 with a new nickname, colors and logo. On November 5, 2009, women's basketball pioneer Nancy Lieberman was introduced as the Legends' head coach, becoming the first woman to lead a men's professional basketball team. Earning the name of Texas Legends, the team began play in the 2010–11 D-League season out of the Dr Pepper Arena. Along with Lieberman, the Legends hired a few other notable basketball names for the front office in their inaugural campaign, including President of Basketball Operations Spud Webb (1986 Slam Dunk Champion) and General Manager Del Harris (1995 NBA Coach of the Year).
The Legends were one of the main attractions in the 16-team league, as they we seen on national TV on VERSUS three times to go along with their two appearances on Fox Sports Southwest. Texas played their first game in franchise history in front of a nationally televised crowd on VERSUS against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. After dropping the opener, the Legends picked up their first victory in team history on November 26 against the Idaho Stampede, 108–100. Texas returned to Frisco for the much-anticipated inaugural home-opener on November 30. They dazzled the sold-out crowd by scoring a league record 84 points in the first half of basketball on their new home floor on the way to a 135–112 win over their cross-state rival Austin Toros. Texas began the season with a 5–1 record, the best six-game start for an expansion team in league history. They finished the regular season with a 24–26 record, as Nancy Lieberman guided Texas to the playoffs, becoming only the third expansion team in league history to make it to the postseason. There they were eliminated in the first round by the Tulsa 66ers.
On October 4, 2011, Del Harris was announced as the Legends' new head coach following the departure of Nancy Lieberman. In his lone season with the Legends, Harris guided the team to a 24–26 record for the second straight year, this time not good enough for a playoff berth.
Between 2012 and 2015, the Legends were guided by former NBA player Eduardo Nájera. However, he was unable to lead the team to a playoff berth in either of his three seasons.
The team is owned by Texas D-League Management, LLC, which is principally owned by Donnie Nelson, general manager and President of Basketball operations for the Dallas Mavericks and son of former Golden State Warriors head coach Don Nelson. The ownership group also includes Evan Wyly and Eduardo Nájera.
Season by season
|Season||Division / Conference||Finish||Wins||Losses||Win%||Playoffs|
|2006–07||Western||2nd||28||22||.560||Won First Round vs. Albuquerque Thunderbirds, 130–100
Won Second Round vs. Idaho Stampede, 94–91 (OT)
Lost D-League Finals to Dakota Wizards, 129–121 (OT)
|2007–08||Southwest||2nd||29||21||.580||Lost Semifinals to Los Angeles D-Fenders, 102–95|
|2008–09||Southwest||1st||34||16||.680||Won First Round vs. Erie BayHawks, 129–108
Won Second Round vs. Austin Toros, 114–111
Won D-League Finals vs. Utah Flash, 2–0
|2009–10||Did not play|
|2010–11||Western||6th||24||26||.480||Lost First Round to Tulsa 66ers, 2–1|
Texas Legends roster
|Season||Player||NBA team||Date(s) called-up and contract(s) signed|
|2006–07||Amundson, LouLou Amundson||Utah Jazz||February 5, 2007: Signed for 10-days|
|2006–07||Wafer, VonVon Wafer||Los Angeles Clippers||February 21, 2007: Signed for 10-days|
|2006–07||Amundson, LouLou Amundson||Philadelphia 76ers||March 8, 2007: Signed for 10-days|
|2006–07||Wafer, VonVon Wafer||Denver Nuggets||April 13, 2007: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2007–08||Gill, EddieEddie Gill||New Jersey Nets||November 6, 2007: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2007–08||Thomas, BillyBilly Thomas||New Jersey Nets||December 24, 2007: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2007–08||Dickens, KanielKaniel Dickens||Cleveland Cavaliers||February 22, 2008: Signed for 10-days|
|2007–08||Thomas, BillyBilly Thomas||Cleveland Cavaliers||February 22, 2008: Signed for 10-days|
|2007–08||Gill, EddieEddie Gill||Seattle SuperSonics||March 24, 2008: Signed for 10-days|
|2007–08||Thomas, BillyBilly Thomas||Cleveland Cavaliers||February 22, 2008: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2008–09||Gill, EddieEddie Gill||Milwaukee Bucks||February 9, 2009: Signed for 10-days|
|2010–11||Daniels, AntonioAntonio Daniels||Philadelphia 76ers||April 5, 2011: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2011–12||Gadzuric, DanDan Gadzuric||New York Knicks||April 20, 2012: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2011–12||Williams, SeanSean Williams||Boston Celtics||April 20, 2012: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2012–13||Douglas-Roberts, ChrisChris Douglas-Roberts||Dallas Mavericks||December 23, 2012: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2012–13||James, MikeMike James||Dallas Mavericks||January 8, 2013: Signed for 10-days|
|2012–13||Dentmon, JustinJustin Dentmon||Dallas Mavericks||March 25, 2013: Signed for 10-days|
|2012–13||Jones, DwayneDwayne Jones||Golden State Warriors||April 17, 2013: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2013–14||Douglas-Roberts, ChrisChris Douglas-Roberts||Charlotte Bobcats||December 11, 2013: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2013–14||Nunnally, JamesJames Nunnally||Philadelphia 76ers||March 17, 2014: Signed for 10-days|
|2013–14||James, DamionDamion James||San Antonio Spurs||April 3, 2014: Signed for 10-days|
|2013–14||Ely, MelvinMelvin Ely||New Orleans Pelicans||April 14, 2014: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2014–15||Smith, IshIsh Smith||Oklahoma City Thunder||November 7, 2014: Signed for the remainder of the season|
|2014–15||Ledo, RickyRicky Ledo||New York Knicks||March 19, 2015: Signed for 10-days|
|Impact Player of the Year:||Eddie Gill (2009)|
|Rookie of the Year:||Lou Amundson (2007)|
|Sportsmanship Award:||Billy Thomas (2008)|
|All-D-League First Team:||Lou Amundson (2007), Elton Brown (2007), Von Wafer (2007), Eddie Gill (2008), Joe Alexander (2011)|
|All-D-League Second Team:||Kaniel Dickens (2008), Josh Davis (2009), James Nunnally (2014)|
|All-D-League Third Team:||Billy Thomas (2008), Eddie Gill (2009), Antonio Daniels (2011), Sean Williams (2011, 2012), Eric Griffin (2015)|
Past notable players
|#||Head coach||Term||Regular season||Playoffs||Achievements|
|1||Wolf, JoeJoe Wolf||2006–2008||100||57||43||.570||4||2||2||.500|
|2||MacKinnon, RobertRobert MacKinnon||2008–2009||50||34||16||.680||4||4||0||1.000||Championship-winning head coach.|
|3||Lieberman, NancyNancy Lieberman||2010–2011||50||24||26||.480||3||1||2||.333||First woman to head coach a professional men's basketball team.|
|4||Harris, DelDel Harris||2011–2012||50||24||26||.480||-||-||-||-|
|5||Najera, EduardoEduardo Najera||2012–2015||150||67||83||.447||-||-||-||-||First Mexican-born head coach in the NBA system.|
|6||Van Exel, NickNick Van Exel||2015–||50||23||27||.460||-||-||-||-|
- Denver Nuggets (2006–2009)
- New Jersey Nets (2006–2009)
- Toronto Raptors (2006–2008)
- Chicago Bulls (2006–2007)
- Dallas Mavericks (2010–present)
- Cook, Sara (February 27, 2006). "Tabor receies its largest gift". MennoWorld.org. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "NBA Development League Expands To Four Cities". NBA.com. April 6, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "NBA Development League Team Comes to Frisco, Texas". NBA.com. June 18, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "NBA D-League team moving to Frisco". USAToday.com. June 18, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Meet Nancy Lieberman". NBA.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- Wigglesworth, Valerie (June 20, 2010). "Frisco's new D-League basketball team starts full-court press months before first game". DallasNews.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "TEXAS LEGENDS 2010-11 END OF SEASON RECAP". NBA.com. April 19, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Texas Legends Name Del Harris Head Coach". NBA.com. October 4, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Texas Legends Name Nick Van Exel Head Coach". NBA.com. July 5, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Owners Bio's". NBA.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Transactions: 2006-07 Season". NBA.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Clippers sign Von Wafer to 10-day contract". InsideHoops.com. February 21, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Denver Nuggets Sign Colorado’s Von Wafer". NBA.com. April 13, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "SIXERS SIGN GUARD ANTONIO DANIELS - 4/5/2011". NBA.com. April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Texas' Dan Gadzuric Signs With New York Knicks". NBA.com. April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Celtics Waive O'Neal, Sign Sean Williams". NBA.com. April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Mavericks call up D-League star Douglas-Roberts". NBA.com. December 23, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Mavs sign veteran guard James to 10-day contract". NBA.com. January 8, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Mavericks sign G Dentmon to 10-day contract". NBA.com. March 25, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Warriors Sign Free Agent Forward/Center Dwayne Jones". NBA.com. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Cats Sign Chris Douglas-Roberts, Waive James Southerland". NBA.com. December 11, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Sixers Sign Forward James Nunnally to 10-day Contract". NBA.com. March 17, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Spurs Sign Damion James to 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "PELICANS SIGN ELY". NBA.com. April 14, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Thunder Signs Ish Smith". NBA.com. November 7, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Knicks Sign Ricky Ledo to 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. March 19, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2016.