The Delaware Blue Coats are an American professional basketball team in the NBA G League based in Wilmington, Delaware, and are affiliated with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Blue Coats play their home games at Chase Fieldhouse. 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. The team moved to the Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware, in 2018 and were rebranded as the Delaware Blue Coats.[3][4][5] As with the Sixers, the Blue Coats are owned by Josh Harris and David Blitzer under Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE). The team won the 2022–23 G League championship.

Delaware Blue Coats
Delaware Blue Coats logo
LeagueNBA G League
HistoryUtah Flash
Delaware 87ers
Delaware Blue Coats
ArenaChase Fieldhouse
LocationWilmington, Delaware
Team colorsBlue, red, cream, navy blue, white[1]
General managerJameer Nelson[2]
Head coachMike Longabardi
Affiliation(s)Philadelphia 76ers
Championships1 (2023)
Conference titles2 (2022, 2023)
Division titles1 (2009)

History edit

Utah Flash edit

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.[6][7][8]

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.[9] 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.[7][10] In July 2008, Fredman was called back by the Jazz to work as a scout,[11] and coach Jones ended up pulling double duty as general manager as well.[12] In 2009, the Celtics changed affiliations to the new team Maine Red Claws, leading the Atlanta Hawks to join forces with the Flash.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

Delaware 87ers edit

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.[17] 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.[18][19]

In September 2013, Brandon Williams was named the team's first general manager.[20] Rod Baker was named the team's head coach for their inaugural season in Delaware.[21]

The 87ers finished their first season with a 12–38 record.[22] Two players received a Gatorade Call-Up during the 2013–14 season[23]Kendall Marshall was called up by the Los Angeles Lakers on December 20, 2013,[24] and Vander Blue was called up by the Boston Celtics on January 22, 2014 [25] Thanasis Antetokounmpo was selected with the 51st overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the New York Knicks[26] – the first 87er to be drafted into the NBA.

Over the summer, the 87ers introduced their mascot, Caesar, on August 22, 2014.[27] 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.[28] Hired as his replacement was Kevin Young,[29] who led the team to an improved 20–30 record, and the Sevens ranked No. 7 in the D-League in points per game.[30] 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.[31]

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,[32] Jordan McRae set the all-time D-League single-game scoring record with 61 points,[33] Christian Wood scored 45 points, and Russ Smith broke McRae's record and scored 65 points.[34] McRae and Kilpatrick were selected as All-Stars,[35] 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 edit

Beginning with the 2018–19 season, the team was renamed the Delaware Blue Coats, an homage to the 1st Delaware Regiment, also known as the "Delaware Blues," and their key role in the American Revolution. The team 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 coincided with the opening of the new Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington.[4][5] On September 20, 2018, general manager Elton Brand was promoted to general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.[36]

In the 2020–21 NBA G League season, the Blue Coats advanced to the championship before losing to Lakeland Magic. The following offseason led to general manager Matt Lilly being let go by the team and coach Connor Johnson resigning to look at other opportunities.[citation needed] Sixers vice president of player personnel, Prosper Karangwa, was given the duties of general manager[37] while former South Bay Lakers' head coach Coby Karl was named head coach.[38]

The 2022–23 season saw the Blue Coats return to the NBA G League Finals after a victory over Long Island. They became the first team since the Santa Cruz Warriors to reach the Finals in three straight seasons. On April 6, 2023, the Blue Coats clinched their first NBA G League championship in franchise history, avenging their finals loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the finals the previous year, defeating them 2 games to 0.

Season-by-season edit

Season Division Regular season Playoffs
Finish Wins Losses Pct.
Utah Flash
2007–08 Western 3rd 24 26 .480
2008–09 Western 1st 32 18 .640 Won First Round (Bakersfield) 94–81
Won Semifinals (Dakota) 103–93
Lost D-League Finals (Colorado) 0–2
2009–10 Western 4th 28 22 .560 Lost First Round (Iowa) 1–2
2010–11 Western 5th 28 22 .560 Lost First Round (Iowa) 1–2
Delaware 87ers
2013–14 Eastern 6th 12 38 .240
2014–15 Atlantic 4th 20 30 .400
2015–16 Atlantic 4th 21 29 .420
2016–17 Atlantic 2nd 26 24 .520
2017–18 Southeast 4th 16 34 .320
Delaware Blue Coats
2018–19 Atlantic 4th 21 29 .420
2019–20 Atlantic 2nd 22 21 .512 Season cancelled by COVID-19 pandemic
2020–21 4th 10 5 .667 Won Quarterfinal (Austin) 124–103
Won Semifinal (Raptors 905) 127–100
Lost Championship (Lakeland) 78–97
2021–22 Eastern 3rd 22 10 .688 Won Quarterfinal (Long Island) 133–116
Won Semifinal (Motor City) 124–116
Won Conference Final (Raptors 905) 143–139
Lost G League Finals (Rio Grande Valley) 0–2
2022–23 Eastern 2nd 20 12 .625 Won Semifinal (Capital City) 104–99
Won Conference Finals (Long Island) 108–94
Won G League Finals (Rio Grande Valley) 2–0
2023–24 Eastern 6th 19 15 .559 Conference Quarterfinal (Indiana)
Regular season record 301 323 .482 2007–present
Playoff record 9 9 .500 2007–present

Current roster edit

Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB From
F 7 Bagley, Marcus 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 2001-10-23 Arizona State
G 24 Brownridge, Jared 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1994-11-13 Santa Clara
G 34 Cumberland, Jarron 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1997-09-27 Cincinnati
G/F 55 Frazier, Melvin 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1996-08-30 Tulane
G/F 77 McCaw, Patrick 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 181 lb (82 kg) 1995-10-25 UNLV
G 8 Mohammed, Aminu 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 2001-12-15 Georgetown
G 23 Smith, Terquavion (TW) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 2002-12-31 NC State
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • JP Clark
  • Isaiah Fox
  • God Shammgod Jr.

  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (P) Prospects
  • (NBA) On assignment from NBA affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  •   Injured

Last transaction: May 24, 2024

Head coaches edit

# Head coach Term Regular season Playoffs Achievements
G W L Win% G W L Win%
1 Brad Jones 2007–2010 150 84 66 .560 6 3 3 .500
2 Kevin Young 2010–2011 50 28 22 .560 3 1 2 .333
3 Rod Baker 2013–2014 50 12 38 .240
4 Kevin Young 2014–2016 100 41 49 .410
5 Eugene Burroughs 2016–2018 100 42 58 .420
6 Connor Johnson 2018–2021 108 53 55 .491 3 2 1 .667
7 Coby Karl 2021–2023 64 42 22 .656 5 3 2 .600
8 Mike Longabardi 2023–present

NBA affiliates edit

Utah Flash edit

Delaware 87ers/Blue Coats edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Delaware Blue Coats Reproduction and Usage Guideline Sheet". NBA Properties, Inc. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Jameer Nelson named general manager". G League. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  3. ^ "Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment Plans State-of-the-Art 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. November 29, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Tresolini, Kevin (March 28, 2018). "The Blue Coats are coming! Nothing revolutionary as 87ers receive new nickname". The News Journal. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Tornoe, Rob (March 28, 2018). "Sixers rename G-League team as work continues on new sports complex". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Hall, Spencer (September 18, 2009). "Brandt Andersen Unplugged". Salt City Hoops.
  7. ^ a b "Cover story on Brandt Andersen". Daily Herald. July 18, 2007. Archived from the original on May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  8. ^ Carpenter, Les (November 2, 2008). "A Minor League Owner With Major League Aspirations". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Get To Know The Utah Flash". National Basketball Association. April 17, 2007. Archived from the original on June 29, 2007.
  11. ^ Buckley, Tim (July 4, 2008). "Utah Jazz notes: Smith, Fredman given new responsibilities with ballclub". Deseret News. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "Utah NBDL team to refund tickets from Jordan hoax". USA Today. Associated Press. August 12, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Utah Flash bring back familiar faces for upcoming season". Daily Herald. May 24, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  16. ^ Smith, Brian T. (June 19, 2011). "Utah Flash for sale; won't play this season". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  17. ^ Kotloff, Brian (April 27, 2013). "Sixers change name of newly acquired D-League affiliate to Delaware 87ers". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  18. ^ "Sixers acquire D-League team in Delaware". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Associated Press. April 27, 2013.
  19. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers Acquire NBA D-League Franchise; Relocate It to Delaware and Name It The Delaware 87ers". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Rappaport, Max (September 19, 2013). "Fastbreak: Brandon D. Williams Hired As Sevens GM". Philadelphia 76ers.
  21. ^ "Sixers Hire Rod Baker to Coach Delaware 87ers". The News Journal. November 6, 2013. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
  22. ^ "2013–14 Delaware 87ers schedule". RealGM.
  23. ^ "2013–14 GATORADE Call-Ups". NBA Development League. Archived from the original on April 30, 2015.
  24. ^ "Lakers Sign Kendall Marshall". Los Angeles Lakers. December 20, 2013.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ Steinberg, Russell (June 26, 2014). "2014 NBA Draft Results: Knicks select Thanasis Antetokounmpo with 51st pick". SB Nation.
  27. ^ "Meet our mascot: Caesar". Delaware 87ers. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  28. ^ "Sixers Front Office Calls Up Sevens Head Coach Rod Baker". Philadelphia 76ers. October 13, 2014.
  29. ^ "87ers Announce Hiring of Head Development Coach Kevin Young". Delaware 87ers. October 16, 2014. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015.
  30. ^ "Delaware 87ers Seasons". NBA Development League.
  31. ^ "87ers take home Delaware Small Business Chamber awards". Delaware 87ers. April 10, 2015.
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "Ex-L'ville star Smith nets 65 for D-League record". March 24, 2016.
  35. ^ "Rosters for NBA Development League All-Star Game Presented By Kumho Tire". Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  36. ^ "Elton Brand Named General Manager". September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  37. ^ "Blue Coats Name Prosper Karangwa General Manager". OurSports Central. October 22, 2021.
  38. ^ "Coby Karl Named Head Coach of Delaware Blue Coats - NBA G League". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. September 28, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.

External links edit