Armor warms up for inaugural game on Nov. 27
By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD -- For Springfield Armor Head Coach Dee Brown, a distinctive measure of success won't just be how many games the new National Basketball Association (NBA) Development League (D-League) wins when it starts its premiere season on the day after Thanksgiving,
Success will also be seen in how many of his players are called up to the NBA.
"The better you do, the more guys are taken from you," Brown explained to Reminder Publications. The Armor is affiliated with the Knicks, the 76ers and the Nets.
Brown spoke at the team's first Media Day conducted in the gym of the Springfield YMCA.
The Celtic veteran said he knows "what the execs look for" and added many of the players have "NBA potential."
Eight players were acquired for the Armor through the first ever D-League draft conducted on Nov. 5. Eight other players came to the team through a local player tryout and a local player allocation list.
The prospective teammates began training camp on Nov. 15 and Brown said he now has the difficult job of cutting players.
He said the players are "like younger brothers."
"The guys have been great. They've been working hard," he added. "It's tough to make the first cut."
Those players who are cut are likely to replace those who get called up to the NBA or will fill out the roster in case of injuries, he explained.
Brown said he is "anxious" about the start of the season.
"I'm nervous because expectations are up," he said. "The players are excited. The city is excited."
DeSean White is one player determined to use his time at the Armor to land a spot on a NBA team.
The six foot eight inch graduate of Northwood University was named an All American twice. He finished his college career as his school's leading rebounder (574 boards) and second all time leading scorer (1,138 points).
White joined the team through the draft and said he is ready to play.
He explained the reason he wanted to play with the D-league wasn't for the money, but for the exposure. He is looking forward to playing in front of NBA scouts as well as representatives from European teams.
The first Armor game will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 against the Iowa Energy and tickets are still available for opening night. Six Flags of New England will produce the evening that will include be a red carpet event complete with non-stop family-style entertainment, along with contest opportunities and giveaways.
Also featured at the first game is a pre-game presentation involving the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and, at halftime, The Workshop, a dance group from Springfield will perform.
Showing support for The Springfield Armor, the following businesses are offering discounts to fans that show their Springfield Armor Opening Night ticket stubs before or after the game:
- Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is offering the discounted price of only $10 tickets for adults and $5 tickets to youth to the museum;
- Caf Lebanon will discount 10 percent off of entire food purchase;
- JT's Pub will off half-price appetizers;
- and all Springfield Museums will reduce admission fees by $2.
For additional ticket sale information contact The Springfield Armor at 746-3263 or at www.armorhoops.com