New York Knicks Purchase New D-League Team, League Expands to 18

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2014

Sep 30, 2013; Tarrytown, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Cole Aldrich (45) and power forward Jeremy Tyler (4) answer questions during media day at MSG Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Development League is expanding to a record 18 clubs with the addition of a currently nameless team that will be owned and operated by the New York Knicks.

According to an official press release on, the team will play its home games in White Plains, N.Y. With the purchase, the Knicks are now the seventh NBA team to have full control and ownership of their D-League affiliate.

"We are very excited to bring a New York Knicks NBA Development League franchise to Westchester," said Allan Houston, assistant general manager of the Knicks and new general manager of this D-League franchise. "The NBA D-League is thriving, and this opportunity allows us to develop players closer to our training facility, and to provide high level, affordable basketball entertainment to the community."

The team doesn't have a name yet, but it does have both a website and an official Twitter account. Fans can visit the site and submit team name ideas between now and March 24.

There's a bad joke at the ready here, and some haven't been able to resist its lure:

There is always time for snark with this organization, but this news actually comes at a point where optimism may be approaching a season-high level.

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Knicks (25-40) have claimed the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference standings and sit just 3.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks. Legendary coach Phil Jackson continues mulling a return to New York as a front-office member, and a source told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that "it looks like" the Zen Master will accept the position.

Owning and operating a D-League franchise might not seem as exciting as what else is brewing around the Knicks, but it is another move in the right direction.

For an organization woefully short on prospects, this is the chance to have complete control over how young players are developed. New York can find major minute opportunities for its young players at the D-League level without exposing them to different offensive or defensive philosophies than the parent club teaches.

The Knicks might welcome chaos at times, but making a move like this shows at least the desire for stability.