Team History

Team History | NBA Call-Ups | Assignment Players | Coaching History

April 21, 2006 – The National Basketball Association’s Board of Governors approved the Los Angeles Lakers as owners of a new team in the NBA Development League

July 31, 2006 – The Lakers organization unveils the team name of Los Angeles D-Fenders, an identity decided on by fans in an online naming contest. The Lakers become the first NBA team in history to own an organization in the NBA D-League.

August 25, 2006 – The D-Fenders announce Dan Panaggio as the team’s first head coach. He would accumulate a 74-76 regular season record in three years with Los Angeles.

November 24, 2006 – Los Angeles played its inaugural game against the Anaheim Arsenal, a 106-87 win in Anaheim, California. The first-ever starting lineup consisted of Devin Green, Andre Joseph, Duane Erwin, Jackie Manuel and Aloysius Anagonye.

November 28, 2006 – The D-Fenders played their first-ever game at STAPLES Center – the team’s first home – defeating the Bakersfield Jam, 96-92.

April 1, 2007 – Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar became the first-ever NBA player assigned to the D-Fenders. He also appeared in a game with the team’s parent club, becoming the first player to appear in an NBA and D-League game in the same calendar day.

November 29, 2007 – D-Fenders forward Jelani McCoy signs with the Denver Nuggets, becoming the first NBA Call-Up in franchise history.

November 28, 2011 – L.A. played their first game at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, defeating the Reno Bighorns, 135-103. At the time, it was the franchise’s largest margin of victory.

December 12, 2011 – D-Fenders guard Eniel Polynice registered 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a win against the Texas Legends, notching the first triple-double in D-Fenders history.

April 7, 2012 – L.A. moves to 38-12 after defeating the Iowa Energy in the 2011-12 regular season finale. It is the best regular season record in team history and stood as the league’s top single-season record until 2016.

February 8, 2014 – D-Fenders guard Manny Harris scores 56 points in a win at Santa Cruz, setting the franchise record for points in a single game. The scoring total is the fifth-largest single-game output in D-League history.

December 20, 2014 – The D-Fenders defeated the Reno Bighorns, 175-152, setting NBA D-League records for total points (175), points in a quarter (56) and assists (48).

January 22, 2017 – The D-Fenders announced their intentions to rebrand as the South Bay Lakers following the 2016-17 NBA D-League season

April 11, 2017 – D-Fenders re-branded as the South Bay Lakers.

April 24, 2017 – Guard Vander Blue is named the 2016-17 NBA Development League Most Valuable Player, becoming the first South Bay Lakers player to claim the league’s top individual honor