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AUDIO: Mike Heineman talks hybrid agreement with the Miami Heat

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New Sioux Falls Skyforce logo. Courtesy of Sioux Falls Skyforce
New Sioux Falls Skyforce logo. Courtesy of Sioux Falls Skyforce
Skyforce President and Co-Ow... (Download MP3)

New York, NY (KWSN) –– The Miami Heat, the Sioux Falls Skyforce and the NBA Development League today announced that the Heat and the Skyforce have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2013-14 NBA D-League season.  Miami becomes the record 13th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.  

The Heat, which  joins the Philadelphia 76ers as the second NBA team to become singly affiliated with an NBA D-League team this offseason, will be Sioux Falls’ sole NBA affiliate and will have full control over the team’s basketball operations.  To further solidify the relationship, the Skyforce has adopted Miami’s red, yellow and black color scheme and signature font beginning with next season.  

This partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the sixth of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows an NBA team to pay for and control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives. 

"This partnership between the Heat and Skyforce further demonstrates the growing importance of an exclusive NBA D-League affiliate for NBA team player, coach, and staff development," said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. "We're excited about the positive impact this record 13th 'one-to-one' affiliation will have for both teams and the league as a whole."

The Heat assigned both Dexter Pitman and Jarvis Varnado to the Skyforce last season, the fourth season of the teams’ affiliation.  During the 2012-13 season, Sioux Falls was also affiliated with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers.  New affiliates for the Timberwolves and Magic will be announced at a later date. 

“We have been working with the Skyforce for four years and feel that it is one of the most professional organizations in the NBA Development League,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “It will be a pleasure working with Mike Heineman to make this partnership a success for both them and the Miami Heat.” 

The Heat joins the Brooklyn Nets (Springfield Armor), Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws), Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), New York Knicks (Erie BayHawks) and Portland Trail Blazers (Idaho Stampede) as NBA teams with “hybrid” affiliations. 

 Seven other NBA teams are singly affiliated with their NBA D-League affiliates.  The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs fully own and operate the Canton Charge, Santa Cruz Warriors, L.A. D-Fenders, Tulsa 66ers, Delaware 87ers and Austin Toros, respectively, while the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends are one-to-one affiliates. 

 “The Miami Heat is a premier franchise in the NBA and we are honored to be their exclusive NBA D-League affiliate,” said Heineman, Skyforce owner/president.  “This affiliation will take our franchise to a whole new level on and off the court.” 

Mike Heineman joined Sports Talk with Craig and Chris Monday afternoon and discussed the move.

Miami’s partnership with Sioux Falls comes on the heels of the NBA D-League’s 12th season, in which an all-time high 58 NBA players were assigned to their NBA D-League affiliates and an additional 36 NBA D-League players earned 31 GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA.  An all-time high 30 percent of players on 2012-13 NBA end-of-season rosters have spent time in the NBA D-League during their careers. 

Courtesy: Sioux Falls Skyforce

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