The new National Basketball Association’s G League affiliate to the Detroit Pistons now has a name, and a West Michigan resident is responsible for coining it.
The Pistons announced today that it has named its new G League franchise the Motor City Cruise. The team will be based in Detroit and play its home games at a newly constructed arena on Wayne State University’s campus beginning in the 2021-22 season.
The name was a result of a fan contest in which participants submitted potential names for the team. Motor City Cruise was a name submitted by a number of contestants, but it was first entered by Grandville resident Dylan Martin, who received court side seats for the inaugural season as a result.
“After considering many clever submissions, we are excited to announce the Motor City Cruise as the next professional sports franchise for the city of Detroit,” Pistons Owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “We wanted Pistons fans to help us with the naming process and engage with our new brand from the beginning. Our new G League team will create an affordable entertainment option in Detroit and also play an important role in our player development goals.”
Over the summer, the Pistons purchased the Northern Arizona Suns, an existing G League affiliate to the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. By establishing the Motor City Cruise as its G League affiliate in the 2021-22 season, the Grand Rapids Drive will no longer carry the affiliation.
Drive ownership has stated in the past that it will continue to operate in the G League as an unaffiliated organization.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the upcoming G-League season for both the Drive and the other 27 teams in the league, with recent reports suggesting league officials could cancel or heavily modify the season.