The Pistons‘ new G League affiliate will be known as the Motor City Cruise, the team announced today in a press release. The club, which will have its inaugural season in 2021/22, will play its games at Wayne State University.
The Grand Rapids Drive are Detroit’s current NBAGL affiliate and will continue to hold that role in 2020/21 — assuming there is a G League season. However, the Pistons don’t own the Grand Rapids franchise and the affiliate agreement between the two teams expires in ’21. The Pistons wanted their G League team to be located closer to the NBA squad, and the Drive had indicated they weren’t interested in moving to downtown Detroit.
As a result, the Pistons purchased the Suns’ NBAGL affiliate – the Northern Arizona Suns – in July and intend to relocate and rebrand that team. After spending one more season as Phoenix’s affiliate, it’ll move to downtown Detroit and become the Motor City Cruise for ’21/22.
The Pistons solicited fan submissions in choosing the name of their new G League affiliate and ultimately opted for the Cruise, which pays homage to the city’s automotive industry and was submitted by 10 fans.
“After considering many clever submissions, we are excited to announce the Motor City Cruise as the next professional sports franchise for the city of Detroit,” team owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “We wanted Pistons fans to help us with the naming process and engage with our new brand from the beginning. Our new G League team will create an affordable entertainment option in Detroit and also play an important role in our player development goals.”