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Blazers launch NBA G League team that they'll own and operate

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The Portland Trail Blazers and NBA GLeague announced that the Blazers have acquired the right to ownand operate an NBA G League team that will play in the ChilesCenter on the University of Portland’s campus in NorthPortland.

The team name and branding (as well asthe front-office and coaching staff) will be announced at a laterdate, but the team is expected to debut in the 2023-24 season. Withthis announcement, the NBA G League expands to a record 31 teamsfor the 2023-24 season.

“I’m excited to welcome Jody Allen andthe Trail Blazers ownership group to the NBA G League family,” saidNBA G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “The NBA G Leaguecontinues to grow to meet the developmental demands of NBA teams,and today’s announcement is further proof of the value the leagueprovides to the NBA every day. I can’t wait to watch the team tipoff at the Chiles Center next season.”

“It was very important to ourorganization to enter the G League with an affiliate here inPortland and strategically strengthen our dedication to playerdevelopment,” said Blazers general manager Joe Cronin. “I wouldespecially like to thank Jody Allen, who is aligned with DewayneHankins and myself, to make it a priority to have this team readyfor next season as it will serve not only as a developmental toolfor players but also for aspiring coaches and staff while wecontinue to be a mainstay in the community as a whole.”

To finish the 2022-23 NBA season, nineplayers on the Blazers had NBA G League experience: Ibou Badji,John Butler Jr., Chance Comanche, Drew Eubanks, Keon Johnson,Skylar Mays, Justin Minaya, Anfernee Simons and Jeenathan Williams.Since the NBA G League was established in 2001, Portland has calledup a total of 20 players, including 13 over the last two seasons.The Blazers have assigned 27 players to the NBA G League fordevelopment or injury rehabilitation, while Portland assistantcoaches Jonah Herscu, Steve Hetzel and Roy Rogers spent timecoaching in the G League.

"Entering the G League with a team ofour own will increase development in numerous areas,” said Blazerspresident of business operations Dewayne Hankins. “Not only willthis team be an asset for developing young talent on the court, butdeveloping talent off the court as well. We’ll be leaning into aninnovative approach that will improve all aspects of our businessacross both teams. With the team launching at the University ofPortland, we’re excited to continue engaging with the NorthPortland community.”

“Pilot Nation is thrilled to welcomethe Trail Blazers G League franchise to their home on The Bluff,”saidUniversity of Portland president Robert D. Kelly, PhD.“UP has a rich and storied athletic tradition, and we couldn’t bemore excited to continue that tradition by hosting this newfranchise on our beautiful campus. I am grateful to our friendsfrom the Portland Trail Blazers and our Athletic Department stafffor making this wonderful partnership happen, and I can’t wait forthe inaugural season to begin!”

The NBA G League is a proven developerof NBA talent while also acting as the league’s research anddevelopment laboratory, testing out innovative rules now used atthe NBA level, including the Coach’s Challenge and the 14-secondshot-clock reset rule.

Currently, more than half of theplayers on NBA rosters have G League experience, while six NBA headcoaches spent time honing their craft in the G League. In addition,half of the first-round picks in the 2022 NBA Draft played games inthe G League this season.

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