SBD/June 18, 2014/Franchises

Pistons' D-League Affiliate Unveils "Drive" As Team Name After Online Vote

The Pistons’ Grand Rapids D-League affiliate yesterday announced that "Drive" will be the team's name, after an “online vote of close to 5,100” participants, according to Peter Wallner of MLIVE.com. Drive President Steve Jbara said, “I think it’s a great name and it has a great tie into our parent club, the Pistons. But it also speaks to the community … and that was one of the things that stood out because of the economy and the growth over here. Now you can tailor the Drive to reflect that as well as the double meaning with drive to the hoop in the basketball sense. So we think we can do some promotional and merchandising stuff to bring it all together.” Jbara said that of the four finalists, Drive “received 78 percent of the vote.” He added that Chairmen, Blue Racers and Horse Power finished “second through fourth in online voting from May 1-10.” Jbara said that the team’s logo was “designed by [a] creative team” with the Pistons. With a name in place, the next event will be an “open house” July 17 at the team's home arena, the DeltaPlex in Walker, Mich. Jbara said that the Pistons have “provided the Drive with a new basketball court, with new hoops, lightning and courtside seats” (MLIVE.com, 6/17). Pistons President of Basketball Operations and coach Stan Van Gundy, when asked about the Drive's proximity to the Pistons' Auburn Hills HQ, said, “Your own D-League team is one thing, but your own D-League team 2 hours away is a whole other deal. We’re going to have times this year where the guy can practice with us in the morning, get in the car and go play a D-League game at night” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/15).
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