BROOKLYN - The Nets introduced a logo, uniforms, website and both Twitter and Instagram feeds for the team’s new D-League franchise, the Long Island Nets, which pays homage to the team’s heritage on Long Island. The parent club also named a new vice-president who will run business operations for the L.I. Nets.
The logo is red, white and blue, the colors of the American Basketball Association’s New York Nets, who played at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island from 1972-76, winning two championships in 1974 and 1976.
The team's home uniforms will be white with "NETS" in blue across the chest. On the road, the Nets will wear blue uniforms with "LONG ISLAND" in red across the chest. They and t-shirts with the team logo are already available in the Nets Team Store.
Following the completion of an extensive renovation, the new Nassau Coliseum will become the permanent home of the Long Island Nets starting with the 2017-18 season. The team will play its home games during the 2016-17 inaugural season at Barclays Center and hold practices at the recently opened HSS Training Center in Brooklyn. Once the team moves to Long Island, it will have its own practice facility.
"There are many ways to construct a team, and having the ability to build from within with our D-League team is very important," said Sean Marks, who was GM of the Austin Toros, the Spurs D-League team, for a year. "We must be strategic and systematic, and utilizing the Long Island Nets for player development is a big key to our overall plan."
The Nets will stock their "farm team" with NBA players sent down to Long Island as well as second round picks who can be signed without counting on the parent team rosters as well as players selected in the D-League expansion draft in September and the D-League's college player draft in November.
Marks said he has a preliminary list for the L.I. Nets staff, which will include a GM, head and assistant coaches plus a trainer. No basketball hires were announced, but the Long Island Nets did announce they've hired Alton Byrd as Vice President of Business Operations to run the D-League club.
Byrd has more than 20 years of experience in sports and brand marketing, including stints with the NBA and NFL, Most recently, he served as Chief Revenue Officer of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, where he oversaw the corporate sponsorship, ticket sales, and marketing departments.
"We are proud to bring the Nets brand back to Long Island, and to establish synergy between the team’s storied roots at Nassau Coliseum and its contemporary history in Brooklyn," said Brett Yormark. "As an experienced and innovative sales and marketing leader, Alton will help lay the foundation for the Long Island Nets as we introduce our new team to the market."
Yormark also tried to put to rest concerns that the L.I. Nets ultimate home won't be ready for the 2017-18 season.
""Oh, it’ll be ready," said Yormark. "It’ll have a similar look, feel and flavor to the Barclays Center. It’s going to host not only the D-League team but obviously world-class events, no different than the Barclays Center. I’m excited about it."
Yormark said he would lead a press tour of the Coliseum renovation next Wednesday. On Wednesday, the Association for a Better Long Island called on Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano to re-bid the lease for the arena, contending progress on the renovation has already been stalled too long by contracting and labor disputes.
Originally granted to Bruce Ratner and associated developers, the lease is now controlled by Mikhail Prokhorov who bought 85 percent of the lease at the end of last year.
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