Forty years after the New York Nets left Nassau Coliseum, Long Island will have a professional basketball team again. The Long Island Nets, the NBA G-League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, will debut Nov. 4 at the renovated Coliseum.
LI’s Nets will play 24 of the league’s 50-game schedule at the Coliseum, with individual game tickets starting at $10.
Sports-themed beverage manufacturer Gatorade is the new corporate sponsor of the former D-League. Twenty-six of the 30 NBA teams have G-League affiliates. The LI entry played at Bar c lays Center last season while the Coliseum was remodeled.
Alton Byrd, the team’s vice president of business operations, wants a fan-friendly experience.
“We’re working on making sure that kids and families are catered to,’’ said Byrd, 59, who was drafted by the Celtics in 1979 and played professionally in Europe. “I’m 99.9 percent sure we’re going to have a kid zone, things like face painting, inflatables, basketball skills. And all of this is happening while our games are being played.” Our intent is to create an experience where people can’t wait to get back.’’
Former Butler player Ronald Nored will be back for his second season as the team’s coach.
The Coliseum holds 13,500 for basketball. A spokeswoman for Barclays Center expects a big crowd for the home opener against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ affiliate.
“The more people that get to see us, the better,’’ Byrd said. “As much as we hope our team will be the NBA Gatorade League champion, what’s as important is that we develop our relationship with fans, communities and really build something long-term. We’re going to be here in this building for a long time.’’
Unlike in other minor-league sports, G-League players can be called up by any NBA team.
“The best example of that is Yogi Ferrell,’’ Byrd said of the former D-League and Brooklyn Nets guard who was signed by the Mavericks.
Byrd said 92 players received NBA assignments last season.
There are two levels of salaries, as determined by the team: The A-level is $26,000 and the B-level is $19,500. The 2017-18 NBA minimum salary is $815,615.
J.J. Moore, a 6-6 swingman from Brentwood who played in college for Pitt and Rutgers, made the LI team last season after an open tryout.
The team will hold a tryout for ages 18-50 on Sept. 30 at LIU Post’s Pratt Center. It will be limited to the first 100 who register online at longislandnets.com. There is a $150 nonrefundable application fee. The team opens training camp Oct. 23.