Thursday, April 30, 2009

Your Votes Have Been Counted....Welcoming Your Maine Red Claws!!

After the long, hard search for a team name that fits the Development League team coming to Portland, ME, the votes have been counted and the Maine Red Claws will be the team name. This is a reference to the Maine lobster industry and also pays tribute to legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach. Let us know what you think in the poll below!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some info behind the team name choices (Be sure to vote on the poll to the left!):

Maine Beacons- The Beacons is a tribute to the more than 60 lighthouses in Maine that guide ships safely to shore, like our coaches will guide our team to victory.

Maine Crushers- The Crushers celebrates the lobster industry in Maine. A lobster uses the crusher claw to destroy their prey, much like our team intends to crush our opponents.

Maine Claws- The Claws name celebrates the lobster industry in Maine. Maine is the largest producer of lobsters in the United States.

Maine Destroyers- The Destroyers name honors the 400 years of shipbuilding in Maine. It is a vibrant part of Maine’s culture and history, and also represents our teams desire to destroy the competition.

Maine Red Claws- The Red Claws name celebrates the lobster industry in Maine. Maine is the largest producer of lobsters in the United States. The “Red” is in tribute to Boston Celtics Legend Arnold "Red" Auerbach.

Maine Swarm- The Swarm represents the state insect of Maine which is the Honey Bee. Bees swarm together as a group to reach a goal, much like our players working together to win games and get the call-up to the NBA.

Maine Traps- The Traps honors the tradition of lobstering in Maine and the hard working lobstermen. Our team will work hard to trap our opponent and get the win every night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NBA Portland in the news

Make sure to check out all the new updates

Since the team has gone public continue to check in to our blog for the newest news, pictures, videos, and polls about the upcoming season.

Q & A with President and GM Jon Jennings

February 25, 2009: Jon Jennings, a former assistant coach and scout with the Boston Celtics, will serve as President, and General Manager of the new Maine team that will enter the NBA D-League for the 2009-10 season. caught up with Jennings where he spoke about his plans for the NBA D-League's newest team.

Q: What attracted you to the NBA Development League?
Jennings: I actually got my start in the NBA as an intern with the Indiana Pacers. After my career with the Pacers, I went to work with the Celtics, where I became an assistant coach when I was only 27. When I was coaching and doing scouting for the Celtics, I always believed that the NBA truly needed a minor league system in the way that baseball has one. I remember when the NBA D-League was first created, I was very excited about the prospects. The changes over the course of the last several years, I think, have only made it more exciting. To have a true minor league system is really so important for the future of the NBA.
Q: What qualities of the city will make the NBA D-League successful in Portland?
Jennings: The one thing about Portland is that it embraces minor league sports. It loves the Portland Sea Dogs [baseball], it loves the Portland Pirates [hockey], and it will love our team. The other thing is that the state of Maine has a fanatical love of high school basketball. When I was first getting started in this entire process, I met with the governor of Maine, and he gave me a two-hour tutorial on how great high school basketball is in Maine.

Q: As a new owner, what are some of the challenges you anticipate for the league, and how are you planning on tackling them?
Jennings: I think obviously the economy is something we all have to face, but I do believe in tougher economic times people look for more affordable ways to spend their entertainment dollars, so I think the NBA D-League will actually benefit in many ways from the challenges we have. We’re investing a considerable amount of money into refurbishing our arena, buying a brand new basketball court, putting new seating in, buying a video scoreboard—all things that will certainly upgrade the arena and create a more exciting experience for our fans. But they’re not just going to embrace our team just because we open the doors. There’s a lot of work we’re going to have to do to prove to people we’re a legitimate team, that we care passionately about the community, and that we’re going to work our tails off to earn their trust.

Q: Being the owner of a professional sports team is a unique position. What previous experiences will you draw upon to help guide you?
Jennings: I’ve had amazing mentors in my life. Under Herb and Mel Simon, I was one of the first people they hired when the bought the Indiana Pacers in the early 1980s. What I always admired about the Simons was how they treated everyone with class, and that they really cared about their employees and their players. I was very lucky to have been around Don Gaston, Paul Dupee and Alan Cohen, men who owned the Celtics but would have a holiday party every year and would come and hang out with the kids of all the employees. But most importantly, the person that I think I’ve learned everything from, and the person I would consider my greatest mentor, was Red Auerbach. Red wasn’t technically an owner, but he ran everything. He was, and is, my hero and the person I really pattern how I want to run our team and the way I want our team to be perceived. I want to do it in a classy way.

Q: Will your previous involvement with the Boston Celtics impact the business?
Jennings: Absolutely, because sometimes there is a disconnect between what happens on the floor and the success of a team. I am a fanatical advocate of extreme customer service. I got some of that experience from the basketball side of things during recruiting trips because there was a selling component to it. I also went to work in Washington at the White House and the Justice Department, and I learned a lot of lessons there about management and bringing people together.

Q: How involved will you be in the basketball operations of the team?
Jennings: I intend to run basketball operations for our team with input from our affiliates and our coaching staff. And certainly, I’ll be working very closely with whomever we select as head coach to fill out our team. We really are looking to develop players on and off the court, but we’re also looking to develop people in our front office. You know, when you’re in the NBA and a player you selected in the draft plays in the NBA All-Star Game, you take some pride in that. I think that’s equally true in the NBA D-League, with not only players but your staff. I can’t think of anything that would make us more proud than to have staff members who excel and who get “called up”.

Q: With so many businesses leaning on social networking through the Internet, do you have any plans on using social networking to market your team?
Jennings: Actually, I’m a huge fan of and believer of Web 2.0. We have a Twitter strategy and Facebook and MySpace pages, but we don’t want to just end there. One of the things we’ve been talking a lot about with students at the University of Southern Maine is how to initiate conversations on message boards. There’s a way to talk on those threads to get people interested in what you’re trying to do with your team. I think the idea of a blog is interesting, but there are so many other things you can do outside of just posting on a blog or even a video blog. We’re going to do those kinds of things with a YouTube channel. We’re a brand new team, and there are a lot of people out there interested in how you build a brand new franchise. I think there are some video snippets we could do to give people a behind-the-scenes look.

Q: What is something visitors have to experience in Portland?
Jennings: The coastline of Maine is so incredibly beautiful. If I were to take you to
Kennebunkport, I’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful place in the world, and I’ve traveled all over the world. So I think it’s the ocean and the coastline.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Check out more information and discussion boards through us using Facebook - For the Fan Club Group - For the Profile

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What is the NBA D League?

NBA Development League
No. of teams: 16

The NBA Development League, or D-League, is the NBA'S officially sponsored and operated developmental basketball organization. Known until summer 2005 as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), the D-League started with eight teams in the fall of 2001. In March 2005, NBA commissioner David Stern announced a plan to expand the D-League to fifteen teams and develop it into a true minor league farm systems, with two NBA teams sharing each D-League team. In 2007-08, the league had 14 teams, with each D-League team being affiliated with 1 or 2 NBA teams. For the 2008-09 season, the league will have 16 teams.