|Grand Rapids Gold|
|League||NBA G League|
Grand Rapids Drive
Grand Rapids Gold
|Team colors||Midnight blue, sunshine yellow, Flatirons red, white|
|Division titles||1 (2018���19)|
The Grand Rapids Gold are an American professional basketball team of the NBA G League and is an affiliate of the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began as the Anaheim Arsenal in 2006, before relocating to Springfield, Massachusetts, in 2009, becoming the Springfield Armor. After five seasons in Springfield, the franchise moved to Grand Rapids in 2014 and were subsequently renamed the Grand Rapids Drive, before changing their name again to the Gold in 2021. They play their home games at the DeltaPlex Arena in Walker, Michigan.
2006–2009: Anaheim Arsenal
The franchise began in 2006 as the Anaheim Arsenal as an expansion team in the NBA Development League (NBA D-League). Based in Anaheim, California, and playing at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Arsenal were an affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers. However, the Arsenal era was mainly marked by futility, never having a winning season or a playoff berth. On March 31, 2009, the Arsenal announced that they would relocate to Springfield, Massachusetts.
2009–2014: Springfield Armor
On July 29, 2009, it was announced that Dee Brown would become the head coach. On September 2, the Armor picked first in the 2009 NBA Development League Expansion Draft, selecting center Marcus Campbell. The team ended their inaugural 2009–10 season with a record of 7–43, the worst record in D-League history.
During the 2010–11 season, the Armor started by picking fifth in the D-League Draft, and selected La Salle's Vernon Goodridge. The Armor would end up finishing with a record of 13–37, sixth in the seven-team Eastern Conference. After the season, head coach Dee Brown opted to leave the team to join the Detroit Pistons. Brown was replaced soon after by Bob MacKinnon Jr. During the 2010–11 season, the team was an affiliate of the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.
For the 2011–12 season, the Armor entered into a single affiliation partnership with the Brooklyn Nets, giving the Nets full control over the basketball operations of and making them the sole affiliate for the Armor. The Nets became the second NBA team to enter into a single affiliation with an NBA D-League team, joining the Houston Rockets and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
2014–2021: Grand Rapids Drive
On April 15, 2014, it was announced that the SSJ Group purchased the Springfield Armor and would relocate the team to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the 2014–15 season. The Grand Rapids franchise would be locally owned and established a single-franchise "hybrid" affiliation with the Detroit Pistons. The affiliation between the Pistons and the Drive was the third between the two cities as the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League also share an affiliation, as do the Detroit Tigers of the American League and the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League.
The team launched a name-the-team contest shortly after the formal announcement. The contest produced four finalists: Drive, Chairmen, Horsepower, and Blue Racers. The community was encouraged to vote online in order to determine which of the four names would become the official team name. Out of those names, the Grand Rapids Drive was selected.
On July 29, 2020, the Pistons announced that the organization had officially purchased the Northern Arizona Suns from the Phoenix Suns and were relocating the franchise to Detroit for the 2021–22 season. It was also announced that the affiliation between the Pistons and Drive would end after the 2020–21 season. The ownership of the Drive were stated as looking for an option to continue operations once the affiliation was set to end of after the 2020–21 season. The Drive would be one of several G League teams to opt out of the single-site shortened season held in Orlando. On January 8, 2021, the Drive stated they were negotiating with a new affiliate and could include a new name and logo.
2021–present: Grand Rapids Gold
On April 27, 2021, the Drive announced a new affiliation agreement with the Denver Nuggets. As part of the new affiliation, the Drive were rebranded as the Grand Rapids Gold, with the name, logo and color scheme announced on July 7.
|Season||Division||Regular season||Postseason results|
|2011–12||Eastern||1st||29||21||.580||Lost First Round (Canton) 1–2|
|Grand Rapids Drive|
|2017–18||Central||2nd||29||21||.580||Lost First Round (Raptors) 88–92|
|2018–19||Central||1st||28||22||.560||Lost First Round (Raptors) 90–91|
|2019–20||Central||3rd||25||18||.581||Season cancelled by COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020–21||Opted out of single-site season|
|Grand Rapids Gold|
|Regular season record||302||391||.436||2006–present|
Grand Rapids Gold roster
|#||Head coach||Term||Regular season||Playoffs||Achievements|
|4||Bob MacKinnon Jr.||2011–2013||100||47||53||.470||3||1||2||.333|
- Atlanta Hawks (2006–2009)
- Los Angeles Clippers (2006–2009)
- Orlando Magic (2006–2008)
- Portland Trail Blazers (2006–2007)
Grand Rapids Drive
- Detroit Pistons (2014–2021)
Grand Rapids Gold
- Denver Nuggets (2021–present)
- "Grand Rapids Drive Announce New Name And Logo". NBAGrandRapids.com (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. July 7, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
- Calhoun, Damian (June 16, 2006). "Anaheim basketball development team is 'Arsenal'". The Orange County Register. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- "Springfield gets NBA D-League team". ESPN.com. March 31, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- "Courtside close". The Orange County Register. September 8, 2006. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Finn, Chad (March 31, 2009). "Springfield lands NBDL franchise". Boston.com. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- Chimelis, Ron (July 29, 2009). "Springfield Armor of NBA D-League name former Boston Celtics player Dee Brown head coach". Springfield Republican. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- "NBA Development League: 2009 Expansion Draft Board". Nba.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- Thomas, Jeff (November 2, 2010). "Armor select La Salle's Goodridge with first pick in D-League Draft". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Thomas, Jeff (September 12, 2011). "Dee Brown out as Springfield Armor coach; Bob MacKinnon in?". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Thomas, Jeff (September 14, 2011). "Springfield Armor introduce Bob MacKinnon, Jr. as their new head coach". Springfield Republican. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "Nets To Run Basketball Ops of D-League's Springfield Armor". nba.com. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
- New Jersey Nets To Run Basketball Operations Of Springfield Armor In 2011-12 Archived 2016-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
- Nets to Run Basketball Ops of D-League's Springfield Armor
- "Springfield Armor's departure for Grand Rapids made official by NBA Development League". Springfield Republican. April 15, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- Mayo, David (March 26, 2014). "Grand Rapids to get NBA D-League team, will affiliate with Detroit Pistons". MLive. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- Wallner, Peter (May 1, 2014). "Grand Rapids NBA D-League team announces four name finalists". Mlive.com. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved Mar 1, 2014.
- "Detroit Pistons NBA D-League Affiliate Reveals Name: Grand Rapids Drive". June 17, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Wallner, Peter (June 17, 2014). "Grand Rapids NBA D-League team gets a nickname, and vote wasn't even close". Mlive.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Beard, Rod (July 29, 2020). "Pistons buy G League team to play in Detroit for 2021-22; Grand Rapids Drive mull options". The Detroit News. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- "Turning Our Attention to the 2021-22 Season". Grand Rapids Drive. January 8, 2021.
- "Grand Rapids Drive to serve as Nuggets' affiliate starting in 2021-22". NBA.com (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. April 27, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2021.