Oklahoma City Blue
|Oklahoma City Blue|
|League||NBA Development League|
Oklahoma City Blue
|Arena||Cox Convention Center|
|Location||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Team colors||Dark blue, blue, red, yellow
|Head coach||Mark Daigneault|
|Ownership||Professional Basketball Club LLC|
|Affiliation(s)||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Championships||2 (2003, 2004)|
The Oklahoma City Blue is an NBA Development League team based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the minor league affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The franchise began as the Asheville Altitude in 2001, before relocating to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2005 and becoming the Tulsa 66ers. After nine seasons in Tulsa, the franchise were moved to Oklahoma City in 2014 by the Oklahoma City Thunder and were subsequently renamed the Oklahoma City Blue.
The Asheville Altitude were a founding team of the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) in 2001. They played at the Asheville Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina, where they won back-to-back championships in 2004 and 2005.
Following the 2004–05 season, the Asheville Altitude were purchased by Southwest Basketball, LLC. The group moved the franchise to Tulsa, Oklahoma and were renamed the 66ers in honor of U.S. Route 66, which runs through Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma. For their inaugural season, the 66ers were directly affiliated with four NBA teams: the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Hornets.
On July 31, 2008, the 66ers announced that Clay Bennett of the Professional Basketball Club LLC (owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder) had agreed in principle to purchase the 66ers, marking the third D-League team to be owned by an NBA team (the first two were the Los Angeles D-Fenders and the Austin Toros, owned by the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively).
After three seasons of playing at the Expo Square Pavilion in Tulsa, for the 2008–09 season, the team moved to the brand-new SpiritBank Event Center in nearby Bixby, but retained the Tulsa 66ers name. The one-season relationship with the arena ended with a lawsuit regarding more than $100,000 the team claimed it owed. The 66ers filed a lawsuit seeking more than $200,000 in compensatory damages from SpiritBank Center's ownership group. The team subsequently moved to the Tulsa Convention Center in downtown Tulsa for the 2009–10 season.
In May 2012, the 66ers announced that they would return to the SpiritBank Event Center for the 2012–13 season. However, in June 2014, SpiritBank announced that it would no longer seek bookings or lease the arena space.
|2003–04||1st||28||18||.609||Won Semifinals (Fayetteville) 116–111
Won NBDL Finals (Huntsville) 108–106
|2004–05||2nd||27||21||.563||Won Semifinals (Huntsville) 90–86
Won NBDL Finals (Columbus) 90–67
|2009–10||Western||5th||27||23||.540||Won First Round (Sioux Falls) 2–1
Won Semifinals (Iowa) 2–1
Lost D-League Finals (Rio Grande Valley) 0–2
|2010–11||Western||3rd||33||17||.660||Won First Round (Texas) 2–1
Lost Semifinals (Iowa) 0–2
|2012–13||Central||3rd||27||23||.540||Won First Round (Canton) 2–1
Lost Semifinals (Rio Grande Valley) 0–2
|Oklahoma City Blue|
|2014–15||Southwest||2nd||28||22||.560||Lost First Round (Santa Cruz) 0–2|
Oklahoma City Blue roster
- Chicago Bulls (2005–2006)
- Dallas Mavericks (2007–2008)
- Indiana Pacers (2005–2006)
- Milwaukee Bucks (2005–2008)
- New Orleans Hornets (2005–2007)
- New York Knicks (2006–2008)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)
- Tulsa 66ers announce NBA affiliations
- "Oklahoma City Franchise To Purchase Tulsa 66ers Of NBA D-League". NBA.com. July 31, 2008. Archived from the original on August 5, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- 66ers moving to Convention Center
- "Tulsa 66ers Returning to Bixby’s SpiritBank Event Center". NBA.com. May 14, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
- Big events no longer scheduled at SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby
- Thunder NBA Development League Team to Relocate to Oklahoma City
- Oklahoma City Blue begins its 2014-15 season in mid-November