Hornets select Greensboro as home for new D-League fanchise

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The Charlotte Hornets will launch their own D-League team. Well, in a year, the start of the 2016 season, but they are getting one.

And they are keeping it close to home — the team will be based in Greensboro, reports the Greensboro News & Record.

The Charlotte Hornets have chosen Greensboro as the host city for a new professional basketball minor-league team in the expanding NBA Development League. A formal announcement is expected Tuesday at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, but officials with the Hornets and the D-league, as it’s called, have confirmed the move.

This is the third largest city in North Carolina, and while they have a facility — the Pavilion — it’s not a basketball gym and is going to need some upgrades, such as a permanent roof. And better locker rooms. But they have a plan and a year to get the work done and turn it into a fieldhouse-style facility.

Maybe the biggest challenge is there are no other D-League teams in the region right now. D-League teams are clustered in Texas, California and the West, plus in the NorthEast. The Miami Heat have their team in Sioux City, South Dakota. The Greensboro team is going to travel a lot for a few years, until the league fills out a little, and other teams move to the south.

As it stands now, this will bring to 20 the number of D-League teams next season, and they will all have one-on-one relationships with NBA teams. And this is a good move for teams — and a good one for Charlotte. It can give them a leg up in development of young players that could eventually be part of the big club. You know, a real minor league. That’s the goal.