The Grand Rapids Drive announced today they have entered into a new “hybrid” partnership with the Denver Nuggets beginning with the 2021-22 season.
The Detroit Pistons announced in July they would purchase a G League team that would be located in downtown Detroit with games at Wayne State’s campus. The Grand Rapids-based owners of the Drive were not interested in relocating so they ended their hybrid partnership with the Pistons and struck out to find a new affiliation agreement.
The Nuggets were one of the last teams in the NBA without an exclusive NBA G League team.
A new name and brand identity will be announced in the coming weeks, Drive ownership announced in a release.
“The NBA G League continues to be an essential destination for player development, and I’m so pleased to welcome the Kroenke family and the Denver Nuggets to the league,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “Steve Jbara and his team in Grand Rapids run an outstanding organization and I’m excited for this partnership to take both teams to new heights.”
The Drive announced the partnership with a new video and an #elevateGR hashtag, which is … good!
Regarding a new team name, I am no super sleuth, nor a Grand Rapids native, but the team is also slipping GRR into a lot of the promotion announcing this new partnership. That is either a Grand Rapids reference I do not get (possible!), a signal how many sky miles they plan to rack up at Gerald R. Ford International Airport (a very nice airport!) or a hint at what a new name might start with.
I open the floor to those smarter than me to point out my ignorance on what I am missing here.