(Detroit Free Press/WZZM) - The Detroit Pistons are getting an NBA Development League affiliate in Grand Rapids, and they won't have to share it with any other NBA teams, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
The person told the Free Press that the move to get a D-League team in Michigan and be solely affiliated with the Pistons was pushed for by Pistons owner Tom Gores.
The Grand Rapids franchise, which is expected to debut next season, will relocate from Springfield, Mass., where it is nicknamed the Armor. There was no immediate word about what the Grand Rapids team's nickname will be.
The Pistons currently share the D-League's Ft. Wayne Mad Ants franchise with the Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic.
Joanna Shapiro, public relations director for the D-League, the NBA's top minor league, said this afternoon: "There is nothing to announce at this time. When there is something to announce, we will let you know.''
An announcement is expected April 15.
Local investors are buying the franchise, and the team's home games will be at DeltaPlex Arena in Walker.
Joel Langlois, owner of the DeltaPlex, said: "I can't comment on anything right now. At some time in the future, (I will). I don't know when I'll be able to comment. My ability to comment is down the road.''
The Pistons' media relations department said this morning that there was nothing official to report but had heard that the move was possible. The story was first reported by mlive.com.
Such a move would have the Pistons join the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings with minor league affiliates in Grand Rapids.