NBA D-League Announces Sale of Springfield Armor
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — After weeks of speculation, the Springfield Armor is officially leaving the Birthplace of Basketball for the Midwest.
The NBA Development League, or D-League, announced Tuesday that the Armor have been sold to SSJ Group and will relocate to Grand Rapids, Mich. starting next season.
The team’s affiliation will also change to the Detroit Pistons. An online contest is also underway to name the franchise.
According to the league, this new ‘hybrid’ partnership will see all personnel and basketball-related aspects overseen by the Pistons, while SSJ Group, led by Steve Jbrara, along with other local investors, will manage the team’s day-to-day operations and community relations.
NBA D-League President Dan Reed says in a statement, “We’re excited to work with an outstanding ownership group, led by Steve Jbara, and the Detroit Pistons to bring the NBA D-League to Grand Rapids and greater Western Michigan. The team will not only showcase the highest level of basketball outside of the NBA, featuring up-and-coming Detroit Pistons, but will enrich an already vibrant community via its fun, family-friendly and affordable brand of entertainment and commitment to broader community needs.”
The Armor spent five seasons in Springfield, and compiled an 89-161 record, and a 1-2 record in the postseason.
Armor team president Alex Schwerin released a statement, thanking the Springfield community – from the fans to city officials, corporate partners to the Brooklyn Nets – for their support over the years.
“I am extremely proud of everything the team was able to accomplish over the last 5 years. I have truly enjoyed working with all of you during my time here. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported the Springfield Armor,” Schwerin writes.