WASHINGTON DC – (Staff report from official News Release) – The Washington Wizards have purchased the first “G League” team.
The Washington Wizards and the NBA G League announced the NBA’s Wizards franchise has acquired the right to own and operate an NBA G League team. The team, which will debut in the 2018-19 season, is scheduled to play at the Wizards’ new facility in Ward 8 in Washington, D.C. The newly branded “G League” is set to grow to a record 27 teams for the 2018-19 season but will feature 26 teams for next season.
“I’m thrilled to welcome the Washington Wizards to the NBA G League family,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner. “We’re looking forward to working closely with the Monumental Sports & Entertainment team to introduce the exciting brand of NBA G League basketball to the D.C. market as our record 27th team prepares to play in the 2018-19 season.”
“The NBA G League has been a great resource for us over the years, both for calling up talent and for allowing young players on our roster to gain more on-court experience,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “Having our own team, selecting the front office and coaching staff and being able to implement our system will allow us to further enhance our player and staff development program moving forward.”
Washington’s new NBA G League affiliate, like the Wizards, will be owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment. The NBA G League team will play its 24 home games at a new, state-of-the-art venue on the campus of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital in southeast Washington. The St. Elizabeths facility, set to open in 2018, will also serve as the practice facility for the Washington Wizards and the home of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
Season-ticket memberships for the inaugural season are on sale now. Fans can secure their seats to become a founding fan with just an initial deposit of $25 per seat. Visit www.wizardsgleague.com or call 202-864-4350 to speak with an NBA G League representative to reserve seats today.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment will stream all 50 of the team’s NBA G League games on Monumental Sports Network. Fans can download the Monumental Sports Network app in the app store or visit getmonumental.com to access a free, three-month trial.
Since the NBA G League began in 2001, the Wizards have called-up a total of 17 players (10 since the start of the 2010-11 season). Notable call-ups include: Bobby Simmons (Mobile Revelers, 2002-03), Alonzo Gee (Austin Toros, 2009-10) and Garrett Temple (Reno Bighorns, 2012-13).
In April, the NBA G League finished a record-breaking season that included new marks for unique NBA players assigned (92) and players on end-of-regular-season NBA rosters with NBA G League experience (199 – 44% of NBA players). Five current Wizards have NBA G League experience, including starting center Marcin Gortat, who appeared in 2007. Guard/forward Sheldon McClellan and forward Chris McCullough both spent time on assignment last season.
About the NBA G League
The NBA’s official minor league, the NBA G League prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 26 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2017-18 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time high 44 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2016-17 season boasted NBA G League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Cares programs. NBA G League games are available on ESPN’s family of networks and NBA TV.