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Lakers News: LA's G League Affiliate in South Bay Opts Out of 2021 Season

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2021

A Staples Center staff member with a mask on cleans the floor before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. NBA hopes to kick off the regular season on Dec. 22, under pandemic. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

The South Bay Lakers, the G League affiliate of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, announced Friday they've opted out of the 2021 season at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida.

Here's a statement from the team:

"While we appreciate the G League's efforts in putting together this model to accommodate all member teams, we have determined this is the best course of action for the Lakers organization.

"We look forward to our eventual return to G League basketball. In the meantime, we will continue to assign opportunities to our staff as they become available."

G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim confirmed details of an 18-team season earlier Friday. Play is scheduled to start in February, with eight clubs advancing to a single-elimination postseason.

The former NBA All-Star forward said:

"We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play. We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff."

NBA teams that don't have an affiliate in Orlando can still "assign roster players and transfer two-way players using the league's flexible assignment and two-way rules."

South Bay posted a 19-25 record before the remainder of its 2019-20 season was canceled in June because of the coronavirus pandemic. Coby Karl has served as the team's head coach since 2016. Its most notable player is Kostas Antetokounmpo.

The franchise reached the finals of the then-D-League twice but remains in search of its first title since being founded in 2006.

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