Warriors make purchase of D-League team official

June 28, 2011, 5:36 pm
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CSNBayArea.com staff

As reported Monday by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Matt Steinmetz, the Warriors announced the purchase of the NBA Development League's Dakota Wizards.

The Warriors are hosting a conference call with general manager Larry Riley today. We will have a report from CSN Insider Matt Steinmetz later today.

Here is the official release from the team:
OAKLAND, CA The Golden State Warriors, led by Co-Executive Chairmen Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, have purchased the Dakota Wizards franchise in the NBA Development League from Bismarck Professional Basketball LLC, it was announced today at a press conference in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Warriors will become the fourth NBA team to currently own and operate their own NBA D-League affiliate, joining San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.

The Wizards will remain in Bismarck during the 2011-12 D-League season the franchises 17th in North Dakota and the club will explore options of a potential move to Northern California the following season. Jim Weyermann, one of the most successful and respected business figures in minor league sports and current President of the San Jose Giants, has been named the Vice President of New Franchise Development for the Warriors and will oversee all operational aspects of the D-League team from a business standpoint, including a potential relocation to Northern California.

The purchase of the Wizards will result in the ceasing of the Warriors D-League affiliation with the Reno Bighorns, which served as the teams affiliate each of the last two years. Dakota will mark the Warriors third D-League affiliation (also Bakersfield Jam from 2006-07 to 2008-09) since the inception of the league prior to the 2006-07 season. The Wizards concluded the 2010-11 season with a 19-31 record and in fourth place in the eight-team Eastern Conference.

Were really excited about the opportunity to acquire an NBA D-League team and view it as a proactive decision, said 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. We think this is a critical step and another plus for our organization. And, we could not have found a more qualified candidate than Jim Weyermann to oversee the team from an operations standpoint.

Additionally, wed like to thank Steve McCormick and the ownership group of the Dakota Wizards for their professionalism during this process. We are looking forward to working with the staff in Bismarck this season and feel this was the ideal situation due to their strong and passionate community.

Under NBA and D-League rules, the Warriors will have the ability to build and determine their own roster, but will not own the rights to the Dakota players unless the team signs a specific player to an NBA contract. No other NBA team will share this affiliation with Golden State. Last season, the Wizards were the D-League affiliate for the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards.

Im 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.

Im 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, Id 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.

For more information on the Golden State Warriors, visit www.warriors.com. For more information on the Dakota Wizards, visit www.nba.comdleaguedakota, or the NBA Development League homepage at www.nba.comdleague.
Courtesy Golden State Warriors media relations.