Feb 27, 2014, 1:25 PM EDT
There’s such an abundance of basketball fans in New York, even these sad Knicks have filled Madison Square Garden to complete capacity this season.
The Knicks have been through so much turmoil over the last decade, and they still can’t shake supporters. It seems that will never change. Now, those area fans will have another place to spend money on their team – nearby White Plains.
Mike Dougherty of The Journal News:
It's official. The Knicks are relocating the NBA D-League's Erie BayHawks to the Westchester County Center.—
Mike Dougherty (@hoopsmbd) February 26, 2014
Marc Stein of ESPN:
RE: Knicks and their D-League plans. Early word is Knicks trotting out a new D-League franchise in White Plains; Erie BayHawks will stay put—
Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 26, 2014
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The Knicks had a one-to-one affiliation with Erie, and it sound as if they’ll own the new White Plains franchise. This opens Erie to get a new one-to-one affiliate or for the D-League to spread around the 17 NBA teams currently sharing four D-League teams.
The D-League is definitely trending toward having 30 teams, one for each NBA team. This could be a move in that direction, or it could be a way to hedge in the mid-term.
But the D-League will likely eventually include affiliates near the parent club – like the Knicks with White Plains. So, in that sense, this is very much a move toward the future.
For the Knicks, this will mean greater control and more chance to utilize the D-League to develop players. With a franchise so close, New York front-office personnel can definitely get more involved.
Will this switch pay major dividends? Probably not. But the Knicks have the financial resources to pursue nearly any potential edge, and that’s what they did here. If this were to happen eventually anyway, the Knicks were wise to seek the advantage as soon as possible.
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