The Detroit Pistons had a bit of a surprise announcement today when they announced the name of their new G League affiliate — the Motor City Cruise.
The Motor City Cruise will play their inaugural season at the new Wayne State University stadium starting in 2021-2022.
Just like with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons used fan submissions for the naming of the new team plus the logo. The winner receives four courtside season tickets as well as a VIP Package. Dylan Martin of Grandville, Michigan, was the first of 10 people to submit the name “Cruise.” He gets the prize listed above and the other nine people that submitted that name will receive two season tickets plus a prize pack.
As for the name, I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it. Obviously it has to be automotive themed with it being the Motor City, but I feel like there are some automotive themed names that would have been better, or at least cooler. Also, the logo...the logo...what is with this franchise and their minimalist logos that feature a basketball? This one is at least a little bit better than the Pistons’ logo, but still very uninspiring. Hopefully their jerseys will at least be unique, although I am not holding my breath for that.
If you were wondering what the plan is with the Grand Rapids Drive, there hasn’t been anything official announced yet, but it sounds like they are going to try to stick around without an affiliate franchise. There are still a few teams that do not have G-League affiliates, so maybe they will pick up one of those down the line.
The Drive built a pretty decent following in Grand Rapids, so they are probably able to sustain themselves without the affiliate franchise. However, we will see how they handle not having top prospects from the big club like Sekou Doumbouya coming down to play.
By having a franchise so close to the big club, it will allow the Pistons to do an even better job at developing players by allowing them to play games in the G-League and still receive attention and training from coaches and trainers affiliated with the Pistons. It may be a bad look to just dump your old G-League affiliate that was doing well, but this is the better decision long term.