|League||NBA Development League|
Grand Rapids Drive
|Team colors||Red, Blue, Black, Silver
|Head coach||Doug Overton|
|Ownership||HWS Basketball, LLC|
|Affiliation(s)||Brooklyn Nets (2009–2014)|
The Springfield Armor was an NBA Development League basketball team located in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Armor played its home games at the MassMutual Center in Springfield's Metro Center neighborhood. The team was owned by HWS Basketball, LLC which is principally owned by Michael Savit, previously the Senior Vice President of International Management Group. (His HWS Baseball group owns and operates four minor-league baseball teams; the Southern League's Mobile BayBears, the California League's Modesto Nuts, the New York-Penn League's Mahoning Valley Scrappers, and the Coastal Plain League's Columbia Blowfish.) The Armor moved to Massachusetts in 2009 after three seasons in Anaheim, California as the Anaheim Arsenal. The team has ever since moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2014, with its current name being Grand Rapids Drive.
Since the start of the 2011–2012 season, the Springfield Armor had been the official and exclusive affiliate of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. The Armor was the second team to opt for the D-League's "hybrid affiliation." Local ownership maintains control over business, marketing, and day-to-day operations in Springfield, but basketball operations were controlled by the Nets. Prior to this, the only other D-League "hybrid affiliation" was between the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the NBA's Houston Rockets. According to America Online, "The hybrid model has been very well received by GMs and owners, and considering the massive success the Rockets have had with the model, both in winning D-League games and developing NBA-caliber talent (many of whom received the call from the Rockets for stints last season), it's no surprise that the Nets elected for this version of ownership." Many other NBA D-League teams have since adopted this model.
Springfield – The Birthplace of Basketball
The City of Springfield is nicknamed The Birthplace of Basketball because the sport was invented there in 1891. Springfield College teacher James Naismith invented the game to fill-in the gap between the fall's football season and the summer's baseball season. Basketball became popular quickly and became an Olympic sport in 1936. Springfield is also home to basketball's most prestigious site, the Basketball Hall of Fame, which honors the game's greatest players, coaches, and contributors. Each year hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world visit the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Springfield Armor's team name comes from the famous Springfield Armory, which was founded by George Washington in 1777 as the Continental Army's arsenal, and went on to become a very important and innovative institution during American history. The Pentagon controversially closed the Springfield Armory during the Vietnam War, outraging and confusing many people. Today, the Springfield Armory is a National Park, featuring a museum with the largest collection of guns in the entire world. Springfield Armory innovations include the development of interchangeable parts, the Springfield rifle, America's first musket, and the first fluorescent light.
2006–2009: Anaheim Arsenal
The franchise began life in 2006 as the Anaheim Arsenal. 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 accomplished a winning season nor a playoff berth, the Arsenal announced on March 31, 2009 that they would relocate to Springfield.
2009–2014: Springfield Armors Up
The team held a name the team contest until May 1. On June 30, the Armor unveiled its name, logo, and colors. On July 29, it was announced that Dee Brown will be the head coach. On September 2, the Armor picked first in the 2009 NBA Development League Expansion Draft, where they selected center Marcus Campbell.
The team ended their inaugural 2009–2010 season with a record of 7–43, the worst record in NBADL history. They finished in 7th place in the Eastern Division. Their leading scorer was Morris Almond, who averaged 26.8 points per game in 22 games with the team.
In 2010–11, the Armor started by picking 5th in the D-League Draft, and selected La Salle's Vernon Goodridge. Goodridge went on to play in 33 games, averaging 9.0 points per game, and led the team with 1.6 blocks per game, before being traded to the Maine Red Claws. JamesOn Curry led the team overall with 684 points scored, a 15.5 ppg average. 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. Brown was replaced soon after by Bob MacKinnon, Jr.
2014: Move to Michigan
On April 15, 2014, it was announced that SSJ Group, led by Steve Jbara, purchased the Springfield Armor and would relocate the team to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the 2014–15 season. The Grand Rapids franchise, eventually named Grand Rapids Drive, will be locally owned and will establish a single-franchise affiliation with the Detroit Pistons.
Season By season
|Season||Division||Regular Season||Postseason Results|
|2011–12||Eastern||1st||29||21||.580||Lost Round 1 (Canton)|
|Regular Season Record||150||250||.375||2009–2014|
- "NBA Development League Team Comes To Springfield, Massachusetts".
- "NBA D-League Comes to Grand Rapids for 2014-15 Season". NBA Development League. April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- "New Jersey Nets, Springfield Armor to Enter Single-Affiliate Partnership". Aolnews.com. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- http://www.nba.com/dleague/springfield/ NBA Development League Team Comes To Springfield, Massachusetts
- "Help Name the Springfield NBA D-League Team". NBA Development League. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
- "Springfield's NBA Development League Team Unveils Name and Logo". NBA Development League. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
- "Springfield Armor of NBA D-League name former Boston Celtics player Dee Brown head coach". masslive.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- "NBA Development League: 2009 Expansion Draft Board". Nba.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Thomas, Jeff (November 2, 2010). "Armor select La Salle's Goodridge with first pick in D-League Draft". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Thomas, Jeff (September 12, 2011). "Dee Brown out as Springfield Armor coach; Bob MacKinnon in?". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Thomas, Jeff (September 14, 2011). "Springfield Armor introduce Bob MacKinnon, Jr. as their new head coach". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011.