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Los Angeles D-Fenders, Lakers’ Minor League Team, To Begin New Season

The Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA Development League team, will open their 10th season Friday, facing the Iowa Energy, the Memphis Grizzlies’ affiliate, at the Toyota Sports Center.

The D-Fenders have three players with NBA experience, guard Vander Blue and forwards Justin Harper and Travis Wear. Blue was second in the  D-League in scoring last season, averaging 26.3 points per game.

Blue, Harper and guard Josh Magette are among six players returning from last year’s team, which finished second in the five-team Pacific Division with a 27-23 record, then upset two division champions in the playoffs before losing in the finals to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Miami Heat’s D-League affiliate.

Magette led the league in assists (9.2) and steals (2.4).

Wear, a former UCLA standout, is among two players assigned to the D- Fenders by the Lakers, along with former USC guard Julian Jacobs.

An NBA team can assign up to four players to its D-League affiliate after they’ve been cut from the NBA team’s roster and cleared NBA waivers.

Friday’s game marks Coby Karl’s debut as the D-Fenders coach. He was appointed Sept. 12, succeeding Casey Owens, who became a Lakers assistant coach and advance scout.

“My goal going forward will be to foster an environment and culture that permits our players and staff to fulfill their dreams,” said Karl, son of former NBA coach George Karl.

The 33-year-old Karl began his coaching career last season as an assistant coach with the D-League’s Westchester Knicks.

Karl played 17 games with the Lakers during the 2007-08 season. He also played three games with the Cleveland Cavaliers and four with the Golden State Warriors in the 2009-10 season.

Karl also played professionally in Spain, Italy and Germany, and for the D-Fenders and two other D-League teams.

 

Los Angeles D-Fenders Logo

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