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D-Fenders to rejoin Development League and play home games at Lakers' practice facility

After taking a one-year hiatus, the Lakers' minor-league affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, will return to the NBA Development League, albeit with a change of venue.

The team will play its home games at the Lakers' practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center, in El Segundo, a switch from the previous routine of playing at Staples Center four hours before Lakers regular-season games.

The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported last year that D-Fenders games didn't generate any revenue from ticket sales because only people who had bought Lakers tickets were allowed to attend the games. Bresnahan also noted that the games often took place in front of no more than 100 people, though Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak frequently was in attendance.

During the 2010-2011 season, the Lakers used the Bakersfield Jam as their minor-league affiliate, sending rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter there on separate stints and recalling Trey Johnson before the last game of the regular season. But the Jam also was an affiliate of the Clippers. With the D-Fenders' return, the D-League now features seven teams with lone NBA affiliates.

"We're thrilled to welcome the Los Angeles D-Fenders back to the NBA Development League," NBA D-League President Dan Reed said in a statement. "The Lakers have been an outstanding partner with the NBA D-League for years, and their return further reinforces our growing significance to the NBA -– especially considering they are now one of seven NBA teams with a 'one-to-one' affiliation. We're excited about the terrific fan experience they plan to provide at Toyota Sports Center."

-- Mark Medina

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Comments () | Archives (4)

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Oh nice...

once question tho MM... how do they find the players for the D-league? are they all college players that didn't get drafted or are they selections from teams that make them play there until they get better? or are they unkown players that come and try out to see if they will make the team?

I was always curious!

I hope they develop a team for team DLeague sort of like baseball does. Then teams can take time to develop players and able to send up and down especially for rehab stints.

Tech N9ne - It's college players who are trying to make their cut in the NBA but isn't considered talented enough to get on a pro roster. Lots of teams use it to sign players to 10 day contracts or maybe send a few utility players down for development. For example, the Lakers sent Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter to the Jam this year because they weren't getting a lot of playing time and they wanted them to develop their game. They also brought in Trey Johnson after Steve Blake got hit with the chicken pox. Jordan Farmar, Sun Yue and Koby Karl played for Bakersfield, but I would say the success rate among D League players is slim to none

Justa JustaLakerFan - Basketball isn't like baseball that way because they have smaller rosters and there's no need to always fill it for rotation purposes. ALso they prefer their own medical people work on the player because they're more connected to the team



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