GRAND RAPIDS — After announcing its newly inked affiliation partnership with professional basketball franchise the Denver Nuggets in April, the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA G League revealed its new team name and logo today.
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The Drive will now play as the Grand Rapids Gold as the team heads into the 2021-22 season. The former Drive sat out last year’s season that was abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a public announcement, the Gold’s front office explained that the name was a nod to Colorado’s mining heritage and the team’s colors now sync up with those of its new NBA counterpart.
“This new affiliation and corresponding name change is one of the biggest moves we’ve made as a franchise,” Grand Rapids Gold President Steve Jbara said in an announcement. “Aligning ourselves further with the Denver Nuggets, a team that recently advanced past the first round of the NBA playoffs for the third consecutive season, further elevates the professional basketball experience here in Grand Rapids, and we couldn’t be more excited to get back on the court this fall.”
The Gold is one of only two teams in the G League with a hybrid partnership with its NBA parent. Under the single affiliation partnership structure announced earlier this year, the Denver Nuggets will control all basketball operations of the team while the Gold’s local ownership manages business operations and community engagement.
The team first came to Grand Rapids in 2014 when a group of local investors under the name SSJ Group purchased the Springfield Armor franchise and relocated the team from Massachusetts to Grand Rapids. The team now enters its seventh season and will continue to play its home games at the DeltaPlex Arena in Walker.
“We are extremely excited about the new name and logo of the Grand Rapids Gold,” said Tim Connelly, president of basketball operations for the Nuggets. “We feel the new look aligns well with both the Nuggets and Grand Rapids organizations and are excited to see it in action on the court next season.”