Arizona Thunderbirds Press Releases

  • Thunderbirds Shrug Off Goot Comments +

    Pioneers forward Noah Gutierrez hadn't been heard from for a while after he was traded away from Arizona to Indiana two season ago. But after returning to Arizona with the Pioneers to play his former team, he had some choice words to say about the Thunderbirds star guard, Mark Marble, who shrugged off Gutierrez's comments. "Man, he's just trying to stay relevant at this point," Marble said of the exchange. "He knows his time in the league is up so he's trying to get as much attention as he can." Marble went on to say he thinks Gutierrez is still upset Marble replaced him after the trade. "He's just mad they wanted to move on and bring in young, new Read More
  • Thunderbirds Decline to Re-Sign Coach of the Year +

    Two weeks after failing to capitalize on a 3-2 series advantage in the National Conference finals, the Arizona Thunderbirds have let Head Coach Reilly Zaro know they do not plan to extend his contract for another season. While the move is not surprising to most, Zaro was very successful is in short tenure with the Thunderbirds. He led the team to a 56-24 record, winning the National West division and reaching the conference finals. Zaro was also named Coach of the Year. When asked if the Thunderbirds blown 3-2 series lead against the London Knights was the reason for not extending Zaro's contract, Thunderbirds GM Nick Simpson said, "No. Our decision was purely based on what we felt was best Read More
  • Thunderbirds GM Sends Banners to Buzzards After Game 7 Victory +

    Just when everyone thought the beef between Thunderbirds GM Nick Simpson and Buzzards GM Jason Warnke might be over, Simpson decided to stir the pot by purchasing banners and having them delivered to CJW Partners Arena, where the Buzzards play. An anonymous source with the Thunderbirds front office said one of the banners was for a second-place finish in the National East Division, alluding to the Buzzards finish in their division. The other banner was a National Conference Semi-Final participant banner, according to the source. Simpson was asked about the banners today, which he confirmed he did in fact send to Warnke. "Yes, I sent them," Simpson said. "I know how much (Warnke) appreciates his team's accomplishments, whether that's winning Read More
  • Thunderbirds Head Coach Zaro Wins Coach of the Year Award +

    Thunderbirds Head Coach Reilly Zaro was awarded the Coach of the Year award on Thursday after helping the Thunderbirds claim their second straight National West division title and achieving the two seed in the National Conference. Zaro led the team to 56 wins, which is the most wins in a season for the Thunderbirds since 2013. Zaro spoke to the media after being presented the award and gave credit to the team and the rest of the coaching staff. "These guys right here," Zaro said as he pointed to the Thunderbird players standing in the back of the room. "They're the reason we were successful this season. I'm humbled to accept this award, but without the unbelievable talent of those Read More
  • Thunderbirds Claim Second Straight Division Title +

    The Arizona Thunderbirds wrapped up their second straight National West division championship, finishing twelve games ahead of the Seattle SeaDogs. The 56 total wins was the highest under current GM Nick Simpson's tenure with the Thunderbirds. Simpson seemed to be pleased with the team's performance during the regular season. "We had a rough patch during the middle of the season after (Mark) Marble went down," Simpson said after the last game. "But Coach Zaro did a good job of keeping the team together and once we were fully healthy we went on a good run. We're really playing some good basketball right now." After Marble's return to the lineup, the Thunderbirds posted a 31-6 record to finish the regular season. Read More
  • Thunderbirds Midseason Review +

    The Arizona Thunderbirds enter the All-Star break at 25-18, tied for the lead in the National West division. Here is a mid-season review of the first half of the Thunderbirds season. Offense Summary: The Thunderbirds are scoring almost the exact same amount of points per game as last season and their rebounding is slightly up. They are one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league, ranking 7th in the league. However, they are struggling with turnovers at 15 per game, which is ranked 14in the league and they aren't sharing the ball much, as they only average 21.1 assists per game. Grade: B- The Thunderbirds aren't offensive juggernauts, but they are efficient with the limited amount of possessions Read More
  • Thunderbirds GM Simpson Responds to Buzzards Comments +

    Boston Buzzards GM Jason Warnke is known for not shying away from voicing his opinions and he didn't hold back on any critics regarding the Malik Campbell trade or his trading practices, including taking shots at Thunderbirds GM Nick Simpson. News out of Boston quickly spread to Arizona to Simpson, who was less than impressed by comments coming from the Buzzards camp. "Josh..Jace..whatever the guy’s name is over there in Boston is always spouting off about something," Simpson responded when asked about Warnke's comments. When asked specifically about Warnke's comment about being handed a silver platter of all-stars, which is speculated to be aimed at Simpson for taking over a team with the likes of Harry White and Noah Gutierrez, Read More
  • Thunderbirds Lose Game 6 at Home and NatCon Finals +

    The Thunderbirds were defeated four games to two by the London Knights in the National Conference Finals. The Thunderbirds weren't able to send the series to London for a Game 7, losing Game 6 102-108 in US Airways Center. Losing an elimination game on their homecourt was a disappointing pill to swallow for the team. “I had no doubt we were going to win,” Harry White told reporters in a dejected Arizona locker room after the game. “We didn’t play with the energy we needed to in an elimination game, especially on the defensive side of the ball.” The Knights shot a series-high 49% in Game 6, including 11-19 from beyond the arc. “We didn’t bring our A game on Read More
  • Thunderbirds Claim National West Title +

    The Arizona Thunderbirds finished out the regular season on a four-game win streak to finish 50-30, capturing their first National West division title since 2013. The Thunderbirds finished 8 games ahead of Minnesota Marauders and 10 games ahead of the Seattle Seadogs who had won the division the past five seasons. "Looking at the standings at the end of the season and seeing the T-Birds above those damn Seadogs for once sure does feel good," GM Nick Simpson said after winning his first division title as GM. "We had a rough last season, but we made some moves this past offseason and made some coaching changes that helped propel us to a good regular season." The Thunderbirds used a suffocating Read More
  • Thunderbirds' Defense Propels Team to Hot Start +

    The Thunderbirds are off to a 19-4 start, tied for the best win percentage (with the Buzzards) in the OBWL. Their start includes a 11-2 home record and 8-2 on the road. The team is currently on an 8 game winning streak. “I’m really excited about the way we’ve started the season,” said GM Nick Simpson. “Our defense has been stellar. Big credit to Coach Shay and the coaching staff on molding all of the new parts we’ve added to this team so quickly.” The Thunderbirds defense has been one of the best, if not the best, in the league so far this season. They are allowing a league low 83.7 points per game, which is 7 points less than Read More
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