The Miami Heat has purchased the controlling interest in the Sioux Falls Skyforce, marking a change in the NBA Development League‘s (D-League) ownership ranks.
In an announcement released Thursday, the Heat stated that they would take over the controlling interest in the Skyforce, but that they will partner with the Heineman family. As part of that arrangement, Skyforce general manager and Miami Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon will run the basketball operations, while Skyforce president Mike Heineman will oversee business side of the club.
For a few NBA teams, one of the incentives to purchasing an existing D-League team or establishing an expansion club is to bring an affiliate closer to the NBA operations. In the announcement, though, it seemed that the Heat plan to continue with the Skyforce playing in Sioux Falls. More from The Sun-Sentinel:
Thursday’s announcement, however, indicated Heat plans to remain going forward with their South Dakota affiliate, amid speculation of a potential move to somewhere in Palm Beach County or the Fort Myers area. As it is, the Orlando Magic are moving their affiliate to Lakeland.
“To be able to expand our partnership with Miami while keeping the team in Sioux Falls were our two biggest goals throughout this process,” Heineman said in Thursday’s announcement. “They have been so good for the Skyforce and for the city of Sioux Falls.”
The D-League will be known as Gatorade League starting next season.
“This is the next step in solidifying and strengthening our already successful partnership,” Heat General Manager Andy Elisburg said. “The Skyforce has been invaluable to us and as we begin our first year together in the G-League, we are excited to be partners with the Heineman family as we continue to represent the fans in Skyforce Nation as a first-class franchise.”
The Skyforce has been a member of the D-League since 2006.