More Pro Hoops For This Fall

By Wesley Chism Jr., BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 8, 2010

SEATTLE (BASN) — This fall, the VERSUS network will feature 11 Regular Season Games of the NBA D-League including postseason action, and the league’s first-ever showcase Slam Dunk and Three-Point Contests.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; the best Slam Dunk contest three years running has been in the NBA D-League. The first game will take place on November18th featuring live coverage of Nancy Lieberman’s coaching debut with the Texas Legends.

A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Lieberman will become the first female to serve as the head coach of an NBA-affiliated team. Texas will be meeting the defending NBA D-League Champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Owned by Donnie Nelson, the general manager and president of basketball operations for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, the Legends will not only be looking for Lieberman’s first win, but also to put a damper on the Vipers’ evening when the team raises its 2009-10 NBA D-League championship banner during the pregame ceremonies.

The NBA D-League is home to world-class basketball and 20 percent of players on NBA rosters at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, including Shannon Brown (L.A. Lakers), Aaron Brooks (Houston Rockets), Will Bynum (Detroit Pistons), JJ Barea (Dallas Mavericks), Marcin Gortat (Orlando Magic), and Reggie Williams (Golden State Warriors).

The network’s NBA D-League coverage will again provide fans with the most access to the game and the players. Some of the enhancements include an increased number of camera angles, micing players and coaches during both games and in-game interviews, and coverage of locker-room and pregame, halftime, and postgame speeches.

VERSUS will also air 25 hours of exciting NBA programming, including profiles of the league’s top players, former iconic players, and coaches, as well as other specials highlighting historic moments from recent regular seasons and playoffs.

VERSUS’ Complete Regular-Season NBA D-League Schedule (subject to change):

DATE GAME

Nov. 18 Texas Legends at Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Jan. 12 Rio Grande Valley Vipers at Erie BayHawks (at D-League Showcase)

Jan. 15 NBA D-League Showcase Slam Dunk and 3-Pt Contests

Jan. 22 Austin Toros at Utah Flash

Jan. 29 Re-air of Showcase Slam Dunk and 3-Point Contests

Feb. 5 Tulsa 66ers at Texas Legends

Feb. 12 Dakota Wizards at Iowa Energy

Feb. 26 Bakersfield Jam at Idaho Stampede

March 5 New Mexico Thunderbirds at Utah Flash

March 12 Austin Toros at Texas Legends

March 19 Springfield Armor at Fort Wayne Mad Ants

March 26 Reno Bighorns at Sioux Falls Skyforce

April 2 Maine Red Claws at Erie BayHawks

With the exception of the Nov. 18 and Jan. 12 matchups, all games will air on a same-day delay. For complete schedule information, visit www.VERSUS.com. VERSUS will announce its postseason schedule when information becomes available.

The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2010-11 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Texas Legends.

A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams.

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 D-League Cares programs.

The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA.

Throughout the league’s 10th season, which tips off on Nov. 18, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.