The Los Angeles D-Fenders will change their name following its 2016-17 season to the South Bay Lakers, according to a recent announcement by the team.
The re-branding will more closely align the affiliate with the Lakers in hopes of achieving greater visibility for the NBA Development League franchise. It’s not a stretch since the team has been owned by the L.A. Lakers since 2006.
President/CEO Joey Buss issued a statement on the change. “I am excited to announce the South Bay Lakers rebrand. This is an opportunity to leverage the iconic Lakers brand, celebrate our amazing community and emphasize the accomplishments that our franchise has achieved over the last 10 years while we continue to compete for an NBA D-League championship.”
In addition to a new logo incorporating “South Bay Blue” into the purple and gold, the team will be moving from sharing the Lakers practice facility at the Toyota Sports Center El Segundo, to the brand new UCLA Health Training Center this summer.
The South Bay Lakers will be the seventh NBA Development League team with the same nickname as its NBA parent team. The list includes the Austin Spurs, Long Island Nets, Northern Arizona Suns, Santa Cruz Warriors, Westchester Knicks and Windy City Bulls.
The D-Fenders currently have a record of 20-6 and sit on top of the Pacific Division. Former Marquette standout, Vander Blue, leads a very balanced scoring attack that boasts eight of twelve players averaging double figures.
Last season, Ontario native Jeff Ayers was called up to the Clippers while Blake Griffin healed from the infamous punching incident. All in all, 35 former D-Fenders players and staff have been promoted to the NBA.
NBA D-League tickets are a much more affordable option for fans, and families in particular looking to take in a sporting event. Single seats range close to $25, while courtside may run $99 each. For more information, call (310) 343-3113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.