by Michael Lowrey
The key facts, per the Hornets’ press release:
Hornets Sports & Entertainment announced today that the organization intends to launch its own NBA D-League team with the hope of beginning play for the 2016-17 season. The franchise today is sending an RFP to seven cities throughout the Carolinas seeking the best home for the D-League club, which would be owned and operated by HSE. Cities receiving the RFP include Asheville, Fayetteville, Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina.
Under the current D-League structure, 17 of the 18 teams have single-affiliate relationships with an NBA team. Eight are fully owned and operated by their NBA parent team. An additional eight are operated under a “hybrid” affiliation, in which the NBA team funds and manages the basketball operations while local ownership maintains control of the business aspects. The Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends have a one-to-one relationship by way of Mavericks General Manager Donnie Nelson’s ownership of the Legends. The Hornets are currently one of 13 NBA teams affiliated with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the lone independent D-League team.
Hard to imagine the Hornets’ D-league team in Raleigh, given the other sports options in that market. Fayetteville definitely seems interested but the city had a D-League team before which failed, which certainly won’t help its chances.