Kings, Bighorns enter single-affiliation partnership

Kings, Bighorns enter single-affiliation partnership
July 11, 2013, 1:15 pm
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The Kings will pay for and control the Bighorns’ basketball operations, but not the off-the-court business operations and community initiatives. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The Sacramento Kings, the Reno Bighorns and the NBA Development League announced on Thursday that the Kings and Bighorns have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2013-14 NBA D-League season. Sacramento becomes the 14th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.

This partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the seventh of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows the Kings to pay for and control the Bighorns’ basketball operations, while existing local ownership in Reno maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.  

The announcement marks the third NBA team to enter into a single-affiliation relationship this offseason, with the Miami Heat and Sioux Falls Skyforce entering into a “hybrid” affiliation and the Philadelphia 76ers purchasing the Delaware 87ers.  

“This record 14th ‘one-to-one’ affiliation demonstrates how important an exclusive NBA D-League affiliate has become in accelerating the development of young NBA players and coaches," said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. “We’re pleased to announce this partnership between Sacramento and Reno and are excited about its impact for both teams and the league.”
 
The Kings and Bighorns have been affiliated since the 2008-09 season, Reno’s inaugural campaign. Since then, the Kings have assigned Donte Greene, Tyler Honeycutt and Hassan Whiteside to the Bighorns. During the 2012-13 season, Reno was also affiliated with the Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz, and new affiliates for both teams will be announced later this summer.  
 
“The Kings have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Bighorns for years, and this hybrid affiliation will further assist our efforts to develop NBA talent while providing Reno and its basketball fans with a team they can be proud of,” said Pete D’Alessandro, Kings general manager.
 
The Kings join the Brooklyn Nets (Springfield Armor), Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws), Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce) New York Knicks (Erie BayHawks) and Portland Trail Blazers (Idaho Stampede) as NBA teams with “hybrid” affiliations.  
 
Seven other NBA teams are singly affiliated with their NBA D-League teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs fully own and operate the Canton Charge, Santa Cruz Warriors, L.A. D-Fenders, Tulsa 66ers, Delaware 87ers and Austin Toros, respectively, while the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends are one-to-one affiliates.
 
“Our hybrid partnership with the Sacramento Kings marks the start of a new chapter of the Reno Bighorns,” said Bighorns owner Herb Santos, Jr. “On behalf of the Reno Bighorns family, I would like to thank the Kings’ ownership, led by Vivek Ranadive, Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro, Coach Mike Malone and the rest of the Sacramento Kings family. We are excited and honored to be the sole and exclusive affiliate of the Sacramento Kings. The future of the Bighorns continues to grow and with this new partnership with the Sacramento Kings, our future just got more exciting.”

Courtesy Sacramento Kings media services