The Dakota Wizards, Golden State Warriors and the NBA Development League announced today that the Warriors have purchased the NBA D-League’s Wizards and will fully control the team’s business and basketball operations beginning with the 2011-12 season. The Warriors will be the sole NBA affiliate of the Wizards and are now the fourth NBA team to own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate.
The Warriors become the eighth NBA team to have a ‘one-to-one’ affiliate in the NBA D-League, the official minor league of the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders), Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers) and San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros) also fully own and operate their NBA D-League affiliates. The Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), New Jersey Nets (Springfield Armor) and New York Knicks (Erie BayHawks) have ‘hybrid’ partnerships with their affiliates, controlling those teams’ basketball operations, while the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks are solely affiliated with the Texas Legends.
“We thank Steve and Karen McCormick, as well as Dawn Kopseng, for bringing the Dakota Wizards to the NBA D-League and their tremendous efforts on behalf of the team and the league,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “We’re very excited to welcome the Golden State Warriors and their new ownership group, led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, to the NBA D-League. The Warriors have historically been ahead of the curve in utilizing the NBA D-League, so it’s only natural that they become the latest team in a growing number of NBA teams to own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate.”
The Warriors have named Jim Weyermann, current President of the San Jose Giants, as their Vice President of New Franchise Development. He will oversee all operational aspects of the Wizards.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to acquire an NBA D-League team and view it as a proactive decision,” said Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob. “As we have previously mentioned, one of our goals is to provide our organization with any elements that we think could provide us an advantage. The fact that we will now operate our own D-League team – complete with our coaches and organizational philosophy – will put us in a better position to evaluate and develop potential NBA players, including any of our first or second year players who may spend a stint in the D-League. Additionally, we’d like to thank Steve McCormick and the ownership group of the Dakota Wizards for their professionalism during this process.”
The Wizards were affiliated with the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards during the 2010-11 season. Their new NBA D-League affiliates will be announced at a later date.
“We’re extremely proud of the tremendous support shown to us from the Bismarck community, and for that we thank each and every one of our fans and supporters,” said Dakota Wizards owner Steve McCormick. “We’re now excited to welcome the Golden State Warriors to Dakota.”
“I’m really encouraged by this acquisition of a D-League franchise and applaud Joe and Peter for their commitment in this area,” said Warriors’ Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Larry Riley. “We have always emphasized the D-League as an organization and, quite honestly, have had very good results and success with the players that we have either signed or developed in the D-League. I think this simply enhances our chances for that trend to continue. The fact that we have an opportunity to align ourselves with an established organization in Bismarck will aid in the overall process.”
“I’m excited about this new opportunity and challenge,” said Weyermann. “I have a great appreciation and understanding for how minor league organizations can serve as a tremendous resource for their parent clubs. The Warriors are in the business to win basketball games and the acquisition of the Wizards will enhance their chances of achieving their long-term goals on the court.”
“First, I’d like to thank the tremendous fans of Bismarck for their continued support of the Wizards,” said Wizards’ owner Steve McCormick. “The community has embraced the team for many years dating back to the CBA and IBA days. The new ownership group that will soon be in place, headed by Mr. Lacob and Mr. Guber, is extremely committed and I can assure you that the organization is in capable hands. Our fans will be the beneficiaries of that commitment during the upcoming 2011-12 season.”
Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.