Today, the Sacramento Kings announced its intention to relocate its NBA G League minor league franchise to Stockton, California – 45 minutes south of the Kings offices and world-class arena in downtown Sacramento. Pending league approval, beginning next season, the Kings NBA G League team – the Pacific Division Champions and reigning #2 seed in the Western Conference coming off of an exciting playoff appearance, will play home games at Stockton Arena with operations in both Stockton and Sacramento. The team currently plays in Reno, Nevada where it has operated in partnership with the Kings since 2008.
“Our NBA G League team has been an incredible asset to help prepare players for NBA action and bringing the team closer to Sacramento will allow us to continue to build on that success and increase efficiency to this valuable development tool,” said Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “Kings fans in Stockton will now have an opportunity to see the next-generation of NBA players each week.”
Last season, the Kings utilized their NBA G League franchise with great success by assigning five players to NBA G League service for a total of 26 games played. Three members of the Kings G League squad earned Gatorade Call-ups this season – Reggie Hearn to Detroit, David Stockton to Utah, and Aaron Harrison to Dallas. The Kings also signed NBA G League player Nigel Hayes from the Westchester Knicks to a two-year contract.
“It is my honor to welcome the Kings organization to Stockton and I look forward to watching NBA G League action at the Stockton Arena,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “The Kings have been known for their tremendous impact in the community and we’re excited to have their support as we continue to reinvent Stockton.”
A four-time All-America City winner, with honors as recently as 2017, Stockton is California’s thirteenth largest city. Stockton Arena is located in the heart of the city’s downtown waterfront and entertainment center. The venue opened in 2005 and includes 24 luxury suites, seating for up to 12,000, and also serves as home ice for Stockton’s hockey team. On Tuesday, April 17, the Stockton City Council will review and vote on the agreement that will allow the team to use the arena. The City staff report will be available for public review beginning Wednesday.
“With the addition of NBA G League Basketball in the Central Valley, each of California’s NBA franchises have a powerful asset within an hour of their headquarters to help develop their players and expand their fan bases with elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner.
“We’re excited to deepen our reach into Stockton and the region beyond,” said Sacramento Kings Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis. “With new roots in the Central Valley, our mission to create change through sports will extend through the heart of California and we look forward to contributing meaningfully to the Stockton entertainment, commercial, and non-profit ecosystem.”
In the coming weeks, the team will begin posting various positions within the organization and plans to host an open call job fair in Stockton. A new team identity that reflects the marks and history of the parent club in Sacramento will be unveiled this Spring. On Thursday, May 24, the organization will join Mayor Michael Tubbs for the State of the City and the first Sacramento Kings Community Day in Stockton.
Kings G League General Manager Anthony McClish and the basketball operations staff will operate in Sacramento at the former Sacramento Kings Training Facility in Natomas, with access to the full resources of the Sacramento Kings including Golden 1 Center. Team business operations will be led by current Kings G League Vice President of Business Operations Dustin Toms in offices located in Stockton, with the full support of Kings business operations teams.
This July, Kings NBA G League players will join parent club rookies and sophomores for the annual NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. In late summer following NBA training camp, the Stockton team will host open tryouts for aspiring players. The team will form its roster following the October NBA G League draft and training camp, with season play beginning in early November.
The NBA G League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 26 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2017-18 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. NBA G League games air on Facebook Live, ELEVEN SPORTS, Twitch, NBA TV, and ESPNU.