Grand Rapids Drive

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Grand Rapids Drive
Grand Rapids Drive logo
League NBA G League
Founded 2006
History Anaheim Arsenal
Springfield Armor
Grand Rapids Drive
Arena DeltaPlex Arena
Location Walker, Michigan
Team colors Red, blue, white[1]
Head coach Rob Werdann
Ownership SSJ Group
Affiliation(s) Detroit Pistons

The Grand Rapids Drive are an American professional basketball team of the NBA G League and is an affiliate of the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began as the Anaheim Arsenal in 2006, before relocating to Springfield, Massachusetts, in 2009 and becoming the Springfield Armor. After five seasons in Springfield, the franchise was moved to Grand Rapids in 2014 and subsequently renamed the Grand Rapids Drive. They play their home games at the DeltaPlex Arena in Walker, Michigan.

Franchise history[edit]

2006–2009: Anaheim Arsenal[edit]

The franchise began in 2006 as the Anaheim Arsenal as an expansion team in the NBA Development League (NBA D-League). Based in Anaheim, California, and playing at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Arsenal was the first professional basketball team to call the city home since the Los Angeles Clippers played occasional games there in the 1990s. However, the Arsenal era was mainly marked by futility, never having a winning season or a playoff berth. On March 31, 2009, the Arsenal announced that they would relocate to Springfield, Massachusetts.[2]

2009–2014: Springfield Armor[edit]

On July 29, 2009, it was announced that Dee Brown would become the head coach.[3] On September 2, the Armor picked first in the 2009 NBA Development League Expansion Draft, selecting center Marcus Campbell.[4] The team ended their inaugural 2009–10 season with a record of 7–43, the worst record in D-League history.

During the 2010–11 season, the Armor started by picking fifth in the D-League Draft, and selected La Salle's Vernon Goodridge.[5] The Armor would end up finishing with a record of 13–37, sixth in the seven-team Eastern Conference. After the season, head coach Dee Brown opted to leave the team to join the Detroit Pistons.[6] Brown was replaced soon after by Bob MacKinnon, Jr.[7]

For the 2011–12 season, the Armor entered into a single affiliation partnership with the Brooklyn Nets, giving the Nets full control over the basketball operations of and making them the sole affiliate for the Armor. The Nets became the second NBA team to enter into a single affiliation with an NBA D-League team, joining the Houston Rockets and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.[8][9]

2014–present: A new beginning in Grand Rapids[edit]

On April 15, 2014, it was announced that the SSJ Group purchased the Springfield Armor and would relocate the team to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the 2014–15 season. The Grand Rapids franchise would be locally owned and established a single-franchise "hybrid" affiliation with the Detroit Pistons. The affiliation between the Pistons and the Drive is the third between the two cities as the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League also share an affiliation, as do the Detroit Tigers of the American League and the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League.

The team launched a name-the-team contest shortly after the formal announcement. The contest produced four finalists: Drive, Chairmen, Horsepower, and Blue Racers. The community was encouraged to vote online in order to determine which of the four names would become the official team name.[10] Out of those names, the Grand Rapids Drive was selected.[11][12]

Season by season[edit]

Season Division Regular Season Postseason Results
Finish Wins Losses Pct.
Anaheim Arsenal
2006–07 Western 4th 23 27 .460
2007–08 Western 4th 23 27 .460
2008–09 Western 6th 15 35 .300
Springfield Armor
2009–10 Eastern 7th 7 43 .140
2010–11 Eastern 6th 13 37 .260
2011–12 Eastern 1st 29 21 .580 Lost Round (Canton) 1–2
2012–13 Eastern 5th 18 32 .360
2013–14 Eastern 3rd 22 28 .440
Grand Rapids Drive
2014–15 Central 4th 23 27 .460
2015–16 Central 4th 21 29 .420
2016–17 Central 4th 26 24 .520
Regular Season Record 220 330 .400 2006–present
Playoff Record 1 2 .333 2006–present

Current roster[edit]

Grand Rapids Drive roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
G/F 24 Anderson, Chris 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1992–08–16 Louisiana Tech
F 3 Harris, Ramon 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1988–05–26 Kentucky
F/C 5 Horton, Chris 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1984–12–29 Austin Peay
G 17 Massey, Bruce 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1990–09–02 Middle Tennessee
G Montero, Luis (TW) 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1993–04–06 Westchester CC
G 11 Newberry, Jeff 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1992–09–22 Oklahoma State
G 23 Simmons, Marcus 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1988–01–28 Southern California
G/F 13 Upshaw, Zeke 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1991–05–27 Hofstra
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (NBA) On assignment from NBA affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  • (I) Inactive
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: 2017–04–01


  1. ^ "Grand Rapids Drive Reproduction Guideline Sheet". NBA Media Central. Retrieved September 14, 2016. 
  2. ^ NBA Development League Team Comes To Springfield, Massachusetts
  3. ^ "Springfield Armor of NBA D-League name former Boston Celtics player Dee Brown head coach". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "NBA Development League: 2009 Expansion Draft Board". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Jeff (November 2, 2010). "Armor select La Salle's Goodridge with first pick in D-League Draft". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ Thomas, Jeff (September 12, 2011). "Dee Brown out as Springfield Armor coach; Bob MacKinnon in?". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  7. ^ Thomas, Jeff (September 14, 2011). "Springfield Armor introduce Bob MacKinnon, Jr. as their new head coach". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ New Jersey Nets To Run Basketball Operations Of Springfield Armor In 2011-12
  9. ^ Nets to Run Basketball Ops of D-League's Springfield Armor
  10. ^ Wallner, Peter (May 1, 2014). "Grand Rapids NBA D-League team announces four name finalists". Retrieved Mar 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Detroit Pistons NBA D-League Affiliate Reveals Name: Grand Rapids Drive". June 17, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  12. ^ Wallner, Peter (June 17, 2014). "Grand Rapids NBA D-League team gets a nickname, and vote wasn't even close". Retrieved June 17, 2014. 

External links[edit]