The Brooklyn Nets will no longer have a D-League affiliate in Springfield, as the rights to the Armor have been bought by the Detroit Pistons in a multi-year agreement, according to David Mayo of Michigan’s MLive.
The contract between the Nets and Armor expires May 1st, and the status of player contracts in Springfield is uncertain at this time. The ended partnership allows the Nets to explore other opportunities for a minor league franchise, including the potential of starting a new local one (as the Knicks are doing in White Plains).
The Nets entered a single-affiliation partnership with the Armor in 2012, with Nets GM Billy King saying they wanted to win D-League championships as well as NBA championships. (They’ve done neither.) Maybe it’s for the best: though the name “Armor” conjures images of a tough metal exterior, it’s also a veiled reference to the Springfield Armory, a military firearm manufacturer. May not want that connected with a basketball team.
For now, we’ll just mourn the loss of the Armor, who won their last home game in Springfield history 95-86 on Friday and are immortalized by the iconic mascot “Dude With Bucket On Head.”