LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles D-Fenders will change their name at the end of this season to the South Bay Lakers, the team announced Monday.
The NBA Development League team was founded in 2006 and is owned by the Lakers organization. The team plays its games at the Lakers practice facility at the Toyota Sports Center El Segundo.
The name change appears to be an effort to make the team’s connection to the Lakers more visible.
“This is an opportunity to leverage the iconic Lakers brand, celebrate our amazing community and emphasize our franchise’s accomplishments over the last 10 years while we continue to compete for an NBA D-League championship,” D-Fenders president Joey Buss said in a statement.
The team is also unveiling new colors and a new logo. The team will continue to wear the the Lakers’ purple and gold, and will also introduce a third color, “South Bay Blue,” to pay homage to the South Bay’s ocean views, the team said. The new logo will also be introduced after this season.
The team will also be playing in a new arena next season — the UCLA Health Training center, which is set to open this summer in El Segundo.
Thirty-five former D-Fenders players and staff have been called-up to the NBA, the team said.