Birmingham Squadron
LeagueNBA G League
Founded2019
HistoryErie BayHawks
2019–2021
Birmingham Squadron
2021–present
ArenaLegacy Arena
LocationBirmingham, Alabama
Team colorsRed, gold, navy blue, white[1][2][3]
       
Head coachRyan Pannone
OwnershipNew Orleans Pelicans (Gayle Benson, Governor)[4]
Affiliation(s)New Orleans Pelicans
Championships0
Division/Conference titles0
Websitebirmingham.gleague.nba.com

The Birmingham Squadron are an American professional basketball team based in Birmingham, Alabama. The team is the NBA G League affiliate of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s New Orleans Pelicans. The team began play in 2019 in Erie, Pennsylvania, as the Erie BayHawks with home games at the Erie Insurance Arena, while the New Orleans Pelicans were planning to relocate their G League franchise to Birmingham to play at the renovated Legacy Arena beginning with the 2021–22 season. This was the third incarnation of the BayHawks team with the same name, which had been playing in the city continuously since 2008.

History

On March 30, 2017, the New Orleans Pelicans announced their intentions to have an owned-and-operated development team by the 2018–19 season located in the Gulf South region.[5] The organization then announced they were looking at 11 different locations: Mobile in Alabama; Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, Shreveport, St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana; Gulfport-Biloxi and Jackson in Mississippi; and Pensacola, Florida.[6] The list was narrowed when the Pelicans' received six proposals their April 25 deadline: Baton Rouge, Jackson, Mobile, Pensacola, Shreveport, and St. Tammany Parish.[7] By August 2017, the only two cities still in contention were Pensacola and Shreveport.[8] On September 12, the city council in Shreveport unanimously voted against building a new arena for the G League.[9] By March 7, 2018, the Pelicans' general manager Dell Demps stated they had put their efforts in creating a G League team on hold after Pensacola was the only remaining candidate from the submissions.[10] The possibility of expansion was further complicated by the death of Pelicans' owner Tom Benson on March 15.[11]

On October 24, 2018, the Pelicans announced plans to place their G League team in Birmingham, Alabama, by 2022 and play at Legacy Arena located in the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex.[12][13] As the arena needs to be renovated, the Pelicans' affiliate began play for the 2019–20 season as the Erie BayHawks after the Atlanta Hawks' affiliate, which had previously been playing as the BayHawks, was relocated to College Park, Georgia.[14][15] On December 9, 2020, the New Orleans Pelicans announced a name-the-team contest.[16] In March 2021, the Pelicans hired David Lane as the team's general manager with the intent on relocating the team in time for the 2021–22 season.[17]

On April 8, 2021, Erie Basketball Management, LLC, the local management company that has operated all three franchises as the Erie BayHawks teams, announced that the organization was unable to find another NBA partner team for 2021–22 and ceased operations.[18] On July 26, 2021, the Birmingham Squadron name, logo, and colors were revealed, with the name "Squadron" being chosen as both a reference to a collective noun used for a group of pelicans and to Alabama's history in military aviation such as the Tuskegee Airmen of the 99th Pursuit Squadron.[19][20]

Season by season

Season Division Regular season Postseason results
Finish Wins Losses Pct.
Erie BayHawks
2019–20 Southeast 4th 13 30 .302 Season cancelled by COVID-19 pandemic
2020–21 3rd 11 4 .733 Lost quarterfinal (Lakeland) 110–139
Regular season record 24 34 .414
Playoff record 0 1 .000

Head coaches

# Head coach Term Regular season Playoffs Achievements
G W L Win% G W L Win%
1 Ryan Pannone 2019–present 58 24 34 .414 1 0 1 .000

Current roster

Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
G 15 Alvarado, Jose (TW) 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 179 lb (81 kg) 1998–04–12 Georgia Tech
F/C 24 Banks, James 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 250 lb (113 kg) 1998–01–16 Georgia Tech
C 35 Hankins, Zach 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1996–07–27 Xavier
G 2 Harper, Jared (TW) 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1997–09–14 Auburn
G 11 Holder, Tra 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 173 lb (78 kg) 1995–09–27 Arizona State
G 9 James, Ra'Shad 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1990–01–26 Northwood
G 3 LaChance, Riley 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1996–03–31 Vanderbilt
G 23 Petty, John 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 201 lb (91 kg) 1998–12–03 Alabama
G/F 4 Pridgett, Sayeed 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 201 lb (91 kg) 1998–05–22 Montana
G 27 Young, Joe 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1992–06–27 Oregon
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (NBA) On assignment from NBA affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  • (I) Inactive
  • Injured Injured

Roster
Last transaction: December 22, 2021

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Story Behind the Birmingham Squadron Logo". BirminghamSquadron.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. July 26, 2021. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  2. ^ "Birmingham Squadron unveil home jerseys for inaugural NBA G League season". BirminghamSquadron.com (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. October 29, 2021. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  3. ^ "Birmingham Squadron Reproduction and Usage Guideline Sheet". NBA Properties, Inc. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  4. ^ "Staff — Birmingham Squadron". Birmingham.GLeague.NBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  5. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans Announce Intent to Launch Owned-And-Operated NBA Development League Franchise in Gulf South Region". NBA.com. March 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "Mobile on preliminary list of sites for Pelicans' NBA D League affiliate". AL.com. March 31, 2017.
  7. ^ "Pelicans narrow list of D-League team sites". Sun Herald. April 25, 2017.
  8. ^ "Pensacola, Shreveport still in running for NBA G League team". AL.com. August 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "Shreveport Denies Arena For Pelicans G League Team; Pensacola Sits As Favorite". SB Nation. September 13, 2017.
  10. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans put G League plans on hold". 2Ways10Days.com. March 13, 2018.
  11. ^ "Future of New Orleans Pelicans stable, even as team mourns owner Tom Benson's death". National Basketball Association. March 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans purchase NBA G-League Team to play in renovated Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama". October 24, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "How Birmingham's aggressive plans for growth landed new G-League team". October 24, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  14. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans set to announce G-League affiliate in Birmingham". The Times-Picayune. October 23, 2018.
  15. ^ "Pelicans to bring NBA G League team to Birmingham by 2022". wvtm13.com. October 23, 2018.
  16. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans seeking fan input for G-League team name". NBA.com. February 7, 2021.
  17. ^ "David Lane named General Manager of Business Operations for Birmingham G-League Franchise". New Orleans Pelicans. March 11, 2021.
  18. ^ "Erie BayHawks to Cease Operations". OurSports Central. April 8, 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  19. ^ "Birmingham Squadron selected as team name for New Orleans Pelicans G League affiliate". New Orleans Pelicans. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  20. ^ "Birmingham Squadron chosen as name of new G-League team". MSN. Retrieved July 26, 2021.