NBA G League Begins 18th Season With Record 27 Teams

Official Release | November 2, 2018

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2018The NBA G League, the NBA’s official minor league, tipped off its 18th season today. Below are some highlights and numbers pertaining to the 2018-19 NBA G League season.

Record Teams

  • 27 – A record 27 teams will compete this season, more than triple the number that played during the inaugural season in 2001-02 (eight).  The Capital City Go-Go, the Washington Wizards’ new NBA G League team, will debut this season.
  • 2019 – The NBA G League expands to a record 28 teams for the 2019-20 season when the New Orleans Pelicans-owned team tips off its season.  The team will begin play next season in Erie, Pennsylvania, as the Erie BayHawks, while its permanent home at Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) undergoes renovations.

NBA G League Alumni in the NBA

  • 40 – The NBA began the 2018-19 regular season with 40% of its players (198 of 494), including those under NBA two-way contracts, having NBA G League experience. This is an increase from the start of both the 2017-18 (39%, 194 of 488) and 2016-17 regular seasons (30%,135 of 449).
  • 11 Eleven NBA teams had more than eight players with NBA G League experience on their start-of-season rosters.
  • 10 – The Atlanta Hawks, LA Clippers and Toronto Raptors lead the NBA with 10 NBA G League players on their start-of-season rosters.
  • 75 – 49 of the 65 NBA referees (75%) this season have worked in the NBA G League.
  • 53 – A record 265 of the 500 players (53%) on 2017-18 NBA end-of-regular-season rosters had NBA G League experience.

Around the League

  • 15 – The 2018 MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase will be played in Las Vegas from Dec. 19-22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in promotion with Las Vegas Events, marking the 15th time the league has held its premier in-season scouting event.
  • 2 – The NBA G League will feature two rebranded teams – the Delaware Blue Coats (formerly the Delaware 87ers) and the Stockton Kings (formerly the Reno Bighorns).
  • 50 – Each NBA G League team will play 24 home games and 24 road games and an additional two games at the annual NBA G League Winter Showcase to complete a 50-game schedule that concludes in March 2019.
  • 6 Million – More than 1.6 million fans attended NBA G League games during the 2017-18 season (1,616,656), an increase of more than 11% over the previous season.  This marked the ninth straight year that total attendance surpassed 1 million fans.
  • 18,900 – Raptors 905 and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers set the single-game attendance record when 18,900 fans gathered to watch their game at Toronto’s  Scotiabank Arena on Dec. 5, 2017.
  • 6 – Teams will average a record-low 6.6 back-to-backs this season, a 6% reduction from 7.0 per team last season.
  • 4 Four NBA G League teams will play in new arenas for the 2018-19 season: Capital City (Entertainment & Sports Arena), Delaware (76ers Fieldhouse), Rio Grande (Bert Ogden Arena) and Stockton (Stockton Arena).
  • 4 – The Los Angeles Lakers (Luke Walton), Sacramento Kings (Dave Joerger), Toronto Raptors (Nick Nurse) and Utah Jazz (Quin Snyder) are the four NBA teams featuring head coaches with NBA G League coaching experience.

Expanded Visibility

  • 5 – The 2017-18 NBA G League regular season on ESPNU and NBA TV was up 5% in combined viewership compared to the 2016-17 regular season.

Social Media

  • 150 Million – The NBA G League set records across social media for video views (+47%, 150 million) and actions (+25%, 4 million) during the 2017-18 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 27 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2018-19 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.  An all-time-high 53 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2017-18 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.

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