Delaware Blue Coats
The Delaware Blue Coats are an American professional basketball team of the NBA G League. It is an affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association. The home games were most recently played at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. The team was founded in 2007 as the Utah Flash and served as an affiliate to the Utah Jazz. In April 2013, the 76ers acquired the team and relocated it to Delaware, where it played as the Delaware 87ers (nicknamed the Sevens) until 2018.
|Delaware Blue Coats|
|League||NBA G League|
Delaware Blue Coats
|Team colors||Blue, red, navy, white|
|General manager||Matt Lilly|
|Head coach||Connor Johnson|
|Ownership||Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment|
|Division/Conference titles||1 (2009)|
In 2004, Utah entrepreneur Brandt Andersen heard the NBA was expanding operations to include a development league. Eventually Andersen got a new team to start play in 2007, based in Orem, Utah, playing at the McKay Events Center.
The Flash nickname was chosen by a name-the-team contest, in which over 21,000 votes were cast. The team was established with a close help from its NBA affiliate Utah Jazz, who indicated to the general manager job David Fredman – who was an assistant coach and director of scouting for the Jazz for 28 years, and also the assistant general manager for the Denver Nuggets – and as a coach Brad Jones, a regional scout who was the nephew of long time Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. Also as an NBA affiliate were the Boston Celtics. In the first season for the Flash on December 21, 2007 guard Morris Almond (who had been sent down to the D league by the Jazz) tied an NBA Development League record with 51 points in a 118–116 victory over the Austin Toros later in that season Almond broke the record with a 53-point performance in the 102–87 blowout win against the Bakersfield Jam, Almond also led the league in scoring averaging 25.6 points a game. In July 2008, Fredman was called back by the Jazz to work as a scout, and coach Jones ended up pulling double duty as General Manager as well. In 2009, the Celtics changed affiliations to the new team Maine Red Claws, leading the Atlanta Hawks to join forces with the Flash.
On December 8, 2009, the Flash hosted a sold-out crowd that hoped Michael Jordan was going to appear to play in a charity exhibition at halftime against former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell. However, Jordan did not appear, and a Jordan lookalike was introduced in what turned out to be a hoax. Brad Jones retired as head coach of the Utah Flash on September 7, 2010 and Kevin Young was named as his replacement. Young had been the assistant coach for the Flash for the prior two years, as well as scout and director of basketball operations, and before joining the organization worked at the Utah Valley University team.
The team suspended operations following the 2011 season, as Andersen was forced to sell his interest in the Flash. Despite high ticket sales, being second in NBADL attendance during the 2010–2011 season, drawing more than 100,000 fans and averaging 4,237 per game, the Flash had frequent financial struggles, as both the Jazz and the city's minor league baseball team Orem Owlz made it difficult to get sponsorship deals.
On April 27, 2013, after two years of hiatus, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired the team, and renamed it the Delaware 87ers. The nickname, a play on the 76ers' own, was inspired by the fact that Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution in 1787. The team played its games at the University of Delaware campus. Former Ripken Baseball Inc. assistant vice president of sales/marketing Aaron Moszer was named team president.
In September 2013, Brandon Williams was named the team's first general manager. Rod Baker was named the team's head coach for their inaugural season in Delaware.
The 87ers finished their first season with a 12–38 record. Two players received a GATORADE Call-Up during the 2013–14 season – Kendall Marshall was called up by the Los Angeles Lakers on December 20, 2013, and Vander Blue was called up by the Boston Celtics on January 22, 2014 Thanasis Antetokounmpo was selected with the 51st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks – the first 87er to be drafted into the NBA.
Over the summer, the 87ers introduced their mascot, Caesar, on August 22, 2014. Caesar was a fox, the state animal of Delaware, and is named after Caesar Rodney who served on the Continental Congress as a representative from Delaware during the American Revolution.
Ahead of the 2014–15 season, Baker was called up by the Sixers to serve as a scout in the front office. Hired as his replacement was Kevin Young, who led the team to an improved 20–30 record, and the Sevens ranked No. 7 in the D-League in points per game. On April 10, 2015, the 87ers earned the Merit Award for Emerging Business of the Year, and also received the Voter's Choice Award for Community Involvement at the Delaware Small Business Chamber's Blue Ribbon Awards Ceremony.
The 87ers improved upon their offensive play from the previous season, with four different players scoring at least 45 points in a game in 2015–16 (a D-League record). Sean Kilpatrick scored 45 points, Jordan McRae set the all-time D-League single-game scoring record with 61 points, Christian Wood scored 45 points, and Russ Smith broke McRae's record and scored 65 points. McRae and Kilpatrick were selected as All-Stars, and both along with Wood received NBA call-ups. With three of their top four players now in the NBA, the 87ers went through a rough stretch from a 17–13 start to finish 21–29. They were however aided by former NBA All-Star Baron Davis, who played six games with the team to conclude the season.
Delaware Blue Coats
For the 2018–19 season, the team will be known as the Delaware Blue Coats, an homage to the 1st Delaware Regiment, aka the "Delaware Blues," and their key role in the American Revolution. In addition, the logo pays homage to Caesar Rodney (the namesake for the aforementioned mascot) and his 70-mile ride from Dover to Philadelphia on July 1–2, 1776, to cast Delaware's tie-breaking vote in favor of what would become the Declaration of Independence. The rebrand coincides with the opening of the new 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington. On September 20, 2018, general manager Elton Brand was promoted to general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.
|2008–09||Western||1st||32||18||.640||Won Round 1 (Bakersfield) 94–81|
Won Semifinals (Dakota) 103–93
Lost D-League Finals (Colorado) 0–2
|2009–10||Western||4th||28||22||.560||Lost Round 1 (Iowa) 1–2|
|2010–11||Western||5th||28||22||.560||Lost Round 1 (Iowa) 1–2|
|Delaware Blue Coats|
|Regular season record||228||272||.456||2007–2019|
- Forward Drew Gordon was signed by the Philadelphia 76ers on November 10, 2014. Gordon returned to the 87ers on December 10, 2014 after playing in nine games with the Sixers.
- Guard Malcolm Lee signed with the Philadelphia 76ers on December 5, 2014, but re-joined the Sevens less than 10 days later on December 13, 2015.
- Forward Ronald Roberts was called up by the Philadelphia 76ers on December 12, 2014, but was re-acquired by Delaware on December 17, 2014.
- Guard Sean Kilpatrick received a 10-day contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 19, 2015. Kilpatrick returned to the 87ers on March 29, 2015 for their final two games of the season.
- Guard Jordan McRae received a 10-day contract with the Phoenix Suns on January 29, 2016, only three days after setting a record-high 61 points for the 87ers. He later signed a new deal on February 23, 2016 to become a part of a future championship squad for the 2016 NBA Finals winning Cleveland Cavaliers.
- Guard Sean Kilpatrick received a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on February 28, 2016.
Delaware Blue Coats roster
|#||Head coach||Term||Regular season||Playoffs||Achievements|
Delaware Blue Coats
- Philadelphia 76ers (2018–present)
- Philadelphia 76ers (2013–2018)
- Blue Coats PR (March 28, 2018). "76ers Introduce Delaware Blue Coats as New NBA G League Brand Identity". BlueCoats.GLeague.NBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- "Delaware Blue Coats Reproduction Guideline Sheet". NBA Properties, Inc. May 4, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- "Blue Coats Name Lilly Interim General Manager". BlueCoats.GLeague.NBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. October 11, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
- "Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment Plans State-of-the-Art 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington". NBA.com/Sixers. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. November 29, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Tresolini, Kevin (March 28, 2018). "The Blue Coats are coming! Nothing revolutionary as 87ers receive new nickname". The News Journal. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Tornoe, Rob (March 28, 2018). "Sixers rename G-League team as work continues on new sports complex". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Hall, Spencer (September 18, 2009). "Brandt Andersen Unplugged". Salt City Hoops.
- "Cover story on Brandt Andersen". Daily Herald. July 18, 2007.
- Carpenter, Les (November 2, 2008). "A Minor League Owner With Major League Aspirations". The Washington Post.
- Siler, Ross (August 26, 2007). "Orem franchise built on NBA ties". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- "Get To Know The Utah Flash". National Basketball Association. April 17, 2007. Archived from the original on June 29, 2007.
- Buckley, Tim (July 4, 2008). "Utah Jazz notes: Smith, Fredman given new responsibilities with ballclub". Deseret News. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Warner, Neil K. (January 25, 2009). "New Flash point guard working to take the next big step, playing in the NBA". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- "NBA Development League: NBA D-League Announces Affiliates For 2009–10 Season". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on March 29, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- "Utah NBDL team to refund tickets from Jordan hoax". USA Today. Associated Press. August 12, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- "Utah Flash bring back familiar faces for upcoming season". Daily Herald. May 24, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- Smith, Brian T. (June 19, 2011). "Utah Flash for sale; won't play this season". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Kotloff, Brian (April 27, 2013). "Sixers change name of newly acquired D-League affiliate to Delaware 87ers". Sports Illustrated.
- "Sixers acquire D-League team in Delaware". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Associated Press. April 27, 2013.
- "Philadelphia 76ers Acquire NBA D-League Franchise; Relocate It to Delaware and Name It The Delaware 87ers". NBA.com/Sixers. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- Rappaport, Max (September 19, 2013). "Fastbreak: Brandon D. Williams Hired As Sevens GM". Philadelphia 76ers.
- "Sixers Hire Rod Baker to Coach Delaware 87ers". The News Journal. November 6, 2013. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
- "2013–14 Delaware 87ers schedule". RealGM.
- "2013–14 GATORADE Call-Ups". NBA Development League. Archived from the original on April 30, 2015.
- "Lakers Sign Kendall Marshall". Los Angeles Lakers. December 20, 2013.
- "Boston Celtics Sign Delaware's Vander Blue to 10-Day Contract". NBA Development League. January 22, 2014. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015.
- Steinberg, Russell (June 26, 2014). "2014 NBA Draft Results: Knicks select Thanasis Antetokounmpo with 51st pick". SB Nation.
- "Meet our mascot: Caesar". Delaware 87ers. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- "Sixers Front Office Calls Up Sevens Head Coach Rod Baker". Philadelphia 76ers. October 13, 2014.
- "87ers Annouce [sic] Hiring of Head Development Coach Kevin Young". Delaware 87ers. October 16, 2014. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015.
- "Delaware 87ers Seasons". NBA Development League.
- "87ers take home Delaware Small Business Chamber awards". Delaware 87ers. April 10, 2015.
- Rosters for NBA Development League All-Star Game Presented By Kumho Tire
- "Elton Brand Named General Manager". NBA.com. September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- "2015–16 GATORADE Call-Ups". NBA Development League. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- "Lakers call up Kendall Marshall from Delaware 87ers". Delaware 87ers. December 21, 2013.
- "Boston Celtics call up Vander Blue of Delaware 87ers". Delaware 87ers. January 22, 2014.
- "Sixers call up Drew Gordon from Delaware 87ers". Philadelphia 76ers. November 10, 2014.
- "Delaware 87ers re-acquire Drew Gordon". Delaware 87ers. December 10, 2014.
- "Sixers call up Malcolm Lee from Delaware 87ers". Philadelphia 76ers. December 5, 2014.
- "Sixers call up Ronald Roberts from Delaware 87ers". Philadelphia 76ers. December 12, 2014.
- "87ers re-acquire Roberts, Jr". Delaware 87ers. December 17, 2014.
- "Wolves Sign Guard Sean Kilpatrick to 10-Day Contract". Minnesota Timberwolves. March 19, 2015.