Expect More Heat in Sioux Falls This Winter Miami Extends Partnership with Skyforce
Sioux Falls and Miami will continue their basketball relationship for two more years. Both entities will look to carryover the success of the first two years.
The Miami HEAT announced Monday via press release they have extended a single affiliation partnership with the NBA Development League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce through the 2016-17 season. The HEAT will continue to be the only NBA team affiliated with the Skyforce and will continue full control over their basketball operations.
Miami is one of 18 NBA teams to have a one-on-one partnership with an NBA D-League team, and one of eight to enter into a “hybrid” affiliation, meaning the HEAT will continue to pay for and control the Skyforce’s basketball operations, while existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives. When the teams first entered into the new partnership prior to the 2013-14 season, the Skyforce updated their logo to resemble the colors and signature font of the Miami HEAT.
“We have been working with the Skyforce for six years and feel that it is one of the most professional organizations in the NBA Development League,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We have had a very successful working partnership with them the last two years and have had successful development with current players Tyler Johnson and Hassan Whiteside, and past players Shabazz Napier, Henry Walker, Justin Hamilton and Zoran Dragic.”
Responding in kind Mike Heineman, Skyforce owner/president is appreciative of how things have transpired to this point. “The HEAT have been an amazing partner for the past two years and we’re happy to be affiliated with such a championship level franchise and first class organization.”
The HEAT join the Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws), Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive), Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy), Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks), Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam) and Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns) as NBA teams with “hybrid” NBA D-League affiliations.
Nine other NBA teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors), Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders), New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks) Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue), Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers), San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs), Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905) and Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede) fully own and operate their D-League teams.
The Sioux Falls Skyforce joined the NBA D-League in 2006 after serving stints with both the International Basketball League (2000-01) and the Continental Basketball Association (1989-00 & 2001-2006). The Skyforce captured two CBA Championships (1996 & 2005) and three CBA division titles as well as making five postseason berths in the NBA D-League. Since the teams entered the hybrid affiliation for the 2013-14 campaign, the Skyforce have made the playoffs both years, including their first Central Division title in the 2014-15 season.
For further details on the continuation of the Heat/Skyforce partnership, join Jeff Thurn as he talks with Andy Elisburg the Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager of the Miami Heat at 3:35pm CT on the Monday edition of Overtime.