27 Teams In 27 Days: Meet The Rio Grande Valley Vipers

By Jake Winderman | September 6, 2018

Team: Rio Grande Valley Vipers

First Season: 2007-2008

Affiliate: Houston Rockets

Location: Edinburg, Texas

Arena: Bert Ogden Arena

Mascot: Fang

2017-2018 Finish: 29-21 (2nd in Southwest), Lost in Western Conference Semifinals

Notable Alumni: Robert Covington, Steve Novak, C.J. Watson, Shannon Brown, Glen Rice Jr., Hassan Whiteside, Ish Smith, Isaiah Canaan, Clint Capela, K.J. McDaniels, Montrezl Harris, Sam Dekker, Chinanu Onuaku, Kyle Wiltjer, Aaron Brooks, Patrick Beverley, Nick Johnson, Gary Payton II

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers entered the NBA G League during the 2007-2008 season along with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Delaware Blue Coats (Utah Flash) and Iowa Wolves (Iowa Energy). The Vipers are named after the abundance of snakes in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas and surrounding regions. Rio Grande Valley has the highest winning percentage in NBA G League history, coming out victorious in 315 of their 550 regular season games (.573).

The Vipers missed the postseason in each of their first two seasons before winning the NBA G League championship in 2010, their first-ever playoff appearance. Rio Grande Valley made it back to the Finals the following year, but lost 2-1 to the Iowa Energy. Since then, the Vipers have made the championship two times, winning it again in 2013 and falling short in 2017 to Raptors 905. RGV has qualified for the postseason in seven of their 11 seasons and have finished with a winning record in the regular season every year since 2012.

Before 2009, the Vipers were affiliated with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2007-2008) and the New Orleans Pelicans (2007-2009). In 2009, the Houston Rockets entered into a single affiliation with the Houston Rockets, their current affiliate. The Vipers have had 38 NBA Call-Ups, which ranks second in NBA G League history to the Austin Spurs (44).

Along with their success as a franchise, the Vipers have stacked up multiple individual accolades during the past 11 seasons. Rio Grande Valley has had 13 selections to All-NBA G League Teams since 2010, including Mike Harris (First Team), Will Conroy (Second Team), Antonio Anderson (Third Team), Jeff Adrien (Second Team), Marcus Cousin (Second Team), Jerel McNeal (Third Team), Greg Smith (First Team), Andrew Goudelock (First Team), Tim Ohlbrecht (Second Team), D.J. Kennedy (Third Team), Robert Covington (First Team), Troy Daniels (Third Team) and Will Cummings (Second Team).

Rio Grande has had two NBA G League MVPs throughout their franchise history in Mike Harris (2010) and Andrew Goudelock (2013), one NBA G League ASG MVP and NBA G League Rookie of the Year in Robert Covington (2014) and one NBA G League Coach of the Year in Chris Finch (2010).

The Vipers will be moving to a new arena in Edingburg, Texas, named Bert Ogden Arena, for the 2018-2019 season. The new arena broke ground on 2015 and was finished earlier this year.

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