The Erie BayHawks are going out of business after being unable to find a new NBA affiliate to continue to be a member of the NBA G League.
“Erie Basketball Management, LLC, the management company of the Erie BayHawks, announced today that it will cease operations in the coming weeks due to the lack of a team to play Erie next season,” said the team said in a press release Thursday morning.
“We made the decision to cease operations in the coming weeks as we were unable to find another NBA partner, or any suitable opportunity, to keep G League basketball in Erie,” said the communicated. “This result is simply a reflection of the changing landscape of the NBA as many teams prefer their G League affiliate to be located nearby, and Erie is simply not positioned geographically to provide that.
“While we are saddened by this for our fans and the Erie community, we are deeply grateful for the tremendous support the BayHawks have received over the past 13 years. The Erie region can be proud of the History of the BayHawks and the role Erie played for the NBA during our years in the NBA Development League and NBA G. League We are truly grateful for the incredible community support and fond memories.
The Erie BayHawks made their debut in the 2008-09 season in what was then called the NBA Development League. It was later called the D League and is now the NBA G. League.
Throughout franchise history, the team has been affiliated with seven NBA teams: Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, and New Orleans Pelicans. This season’s team has also shared trades with the Washington Wizards.
However, their affiliation with the Hawks and Pelicans were only temporary arrangements that hinged on the completion by the NBA franchises of new facilities where their G League team would play permanently closer to their NBA base.
Erie BayHawks officials scrambled two to get Hawks affiliation after the Orlando Magic moved the team to Lakeland, Fla., Ahead of the 2017-18 season.
The BayHawks played the shortened 2020-21 G League season as a Pelicans affiliate in a bubble in Orlando, Fla. Erie Insurance Arena had not hosted a G League game since March 2020 before the COVID-19 shutdown.
After:Owen McCormick, owner of Erie BayHawks, seeks new NBA G League affiliate
BayHawks owner Owen McCormick announced in January that he would continue to sue an NBA G League affiliate even though NBA trends made it a seemingly insurmountable challenge. In recent seasons, more NBA teams have bought – or made deals with – G League teams closer to their NBA markets.
As a result, Erie had few options since the Cavaliers, 76ers, Detroit Pistons, and Raptors – Erie’s closest NBA franchises – already had teams.
Thursday’s announcement came after BayHawks officials exhausted efforts to get another NBA affiliate.