Oklahoma City Blue
|Oklahoma City Blue|
|League||NBA Development League|
Oklahoma City Blue
|Arena||Cox Convention Center|
|Location||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Team colors||Blue, red, yellow, dark blue
|Head coach||Mark Daigneault|
|Ownership||Professional Basketball Club LLC|
|Affiliation(s)||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Championships||2 (2004, 2005)|
|Division / Conference titles||2 (2004, 2005)|
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 in Asheville, North Carolina, as the Asheville Altitude, and from 2005 to 2014 they were the Tulsa 66ers, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Asheville Altitude were a founding team of the NBDL in 2001. They played in the Asheville Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina, where they won two NBDL championships. The team's name was in reference to the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. In 2005 they moved to Tulsa as the 66ers, named for the famous US Highway 66 ("Route 66"), which ran through Tulsa and once played a pivotal role in its economy. Upon moving, all of the team's hard assets were then sold to former Tulsa 66ers owner Southwest Basketball, LLC, which also owned the Albuquerque Thunderbirds and the Reno Bighorns. The team has one affiliate club in the NBA: the Oklahoma City Thunder. The New York Knicks were formerly an affiliate through the end of the 2007–08 season.
On July 31, 2008, the 66ers announced that Clayton 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 are the Los Angeles D-Fenders and the Austin Toros, owned by the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively, and the most recent was the Reno Bighorns, now owned by Sacramento Kings). Under terms of that deal, they will be the OKC team's sole affiliate; former co-parent club the Milwaukee Bucks will now be affiliated with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
For the 2008–09 season, the team moved to the brand-new SpiritBank Event Center in nearby Bixby, but retained the Tulsa 66ers name. After the 2008–09 season, however, the team announced it would seek another venue for the next season, and it filed a lawsuit against the owner of the arena. The team moved to the Tulsa Convention Center in downtown Tulsa for the 2009-2010 season.
During the 2010-2011 season, the team set a record for 14 wins in a row before being defeated by the Maine Red Claws 109-106 on January 30, 2011. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, the 66ers missed the playoffs with a 23-27 record.
In May 2012 the 66ers announced that they would return to the SpiritBank Event Center for the 2012-2013 season, and the team also played there in 2013-2014. In June 2014, however, SpiritBank announced that it would no longer seek bookings or lease the arena space.
In July 2014 the Thunder announced that the 66ers would move to Oklahoma City. Management cited "circumstances beyond our control" stemming from stalled relocation attempts.
|2003–04||1st||28||18||.609||Won Semifinals (Fayetteville) 116–111
Won D-League Finals (Huntsville) 108–106
|2004–05||2nd||27||21||.563||Won Semifinals (Huntsville) 90–86
Won D-League 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||Central||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)
You can listen to the game on 105.3 The Pro (KINB). Ed Murray will be the Radio Play-by-Play.
- "Oklahoma City Franchise To Purchase Tulsa 66ers Of NBA D-League". NBA D-League. July 31, 2008. Archived from the original on August 5, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- Glenn Hibdon, "Tulsa 66ers pro basketball team moving to Bixby", Tulsa World, February 12, 2008.
- Mike Strain, "66ers' owners sue Bixby arena's owners", Tulsa World, May 31, 2009.
- "66ers will move to Convention Center". Tulsa World. August 13, 2009.
- "Tulsa 66ers Returning To Bixby's SpiritBank Event Center". KOTV-DT. May 14, 2012.
- Robert Evatt, "Big events no longer scheduled at SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby", Tulsa World, June 9, 2014.