Joe Lacob’s “Exciting” Announcement Is …

Monday, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob suggested he would be making a big announcement on Tuesday.  But since you probably don’t want to wait, I found out what the announcement was early. Just for you.

As my colleague TK said, it’s not a trade or the new team president. But he still felt compelled to call it an “exciting” announcement. And I know what it is.


I’ll give you a hint: Bismarck, N.D.

Tuesday, the Warriors will announce they have acquired a team in the NBA Development League, according to multiple sources. The Dakota Wizards will be owned and run by GSW, LLC.

What, you don’t classify that as a big announcement? Me neither. Granted, it’s news worthy. But for a team that has, in the last month, hired Jerry West, hired Mark Jackson, fired Robert Rowell and drafted Mychel Thompson’s son and Jeremy Tyler, news about buying a D-League team hardly doesn’t register high on the excitement scale. Still, there is a noted advantage to owning, in essence, your own minor league team.

The Warriors will get to staff who they want in North Dakota and choose what type of system they will play. Since they have total control, they can dictate completely what their young players are taught, even how much they play.

The hope is to move the team to San Jose, but it probably won’t happen right away, one source said. Another source said the Warriors will explore multiple Northern California options. Either way, the team will stay in Dakota for at least a year.

The Warriors’ current D-League affiliate is the Reno Bighorns. Not sure yet if the Bighorns will stay Golden State’s affiliate for next season, whenever next season starts, or they will switch to the Wizards.  Certainly would be better logistically for the the Warriors to send their youngsters to Reno instead of all the way to North Dakota.

But, eventually, the hope is the  Warriors’ D-League affiliate will be in the Bay Area, likely San Jose.

The Warriors will be the fourth team to own an D-League squad. The San Antonio Spurs own the Austin Toros. The Los Angeles Lakers on the L.A. D-Fenders. The Oklahoma City Thunder own the Tulsa 66ers.

Four other teams have exclusive cooperation with a D-League teams — meaning the D-League squad is independently owned but has an agreement with only one NBA team.  The Houston Rockets are the only NBA team affiliated with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Ditto for the New Jersey Nets and Springfield Armor, the New York Knicks and Erie BayHawks, and the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends.

NBA teams are allowed to send players to their D-League affiliate for development purposes while reserving their roster spot.

Marcus Thompson

  • Fierce South

    Jeremy Lin, starting point guard of the Dakota Wizards?

  • Lacob is trying to put that affilliate in San Jose so he can than justify territorial rights in the southbay just in case someone like Larry Ellison tries to buy an NBA team and move them to the Bay Area. Trying to go the Giants route of saying “Hey we have a minor league team here you cant bring another team here!!!”

    Although I would suspect that David Stern wouldn’t care and just move the team either way if it meant getting Larry Ellison into the league as an owner. Plus the issue of territorial rights doesn’t seem to be as big an issue in the NBA as it is in the MLB. Just look at LAC & LAL, so for all the huffing & puffing Lacob has done previously about territorial rights, I don’t think it means squat as long as Stern is the commisioner.

  • Fitz’s Folly

    Sounds like the Warriors are trying to establish some kind of beachhead in San Jose to help fight the threat of one LJ Ellison acquiring a NBA team (like New Orleans, perhaps?) and moving them to the South Bay.

  • Twinkie defense

    This is more important than it might sound. If you’re trying to develop a young player, do you want the D-League coach to be having him spend a lot of time on the bench, and then when he does play, he plays a different position and in a different scheme of the parent team? Or do you want to hire the coaches yourself and dictate exactly how the player will be used, and that he will be learning the exact same schemes of the parent team?

  • RoadWarrior

    But Musselman does a pretty good job in Reno. Would love to see him work with Tyler and Jenkins on their development.

  • W’s in 2010

    Wake me up when we get a starting center.

  • GSWs

    Lacob & Co. can’t run one team. Why do they need another?

  • I think we’re more likely to see Ellison move a team to Seattle.. or even Vegas; before we see an NBA franchise in San Jose.

    The move likely IS to prevent Ellison from moving to the South Bay. And please don’t think that a team’s own minor league franchise in a city close to their NBA team’s market won’t be a factor for the NBA to consider. Add the (potential) fact that the Warriors become a more competitive team; with more national appeal, and Ellison would have a hard time convincing the league to go against the W’s new ownership group.

    After all; NBA owners must approve a relocation. How many owners would want the league to approve another team’s move into THEIR territory? Not many; and for solidarity’s sake; I think the league would vote to keep another team out of SJ if the W’s owned and operated a D-League team there.


  • penaltybox408

    plain and simple. if you do not produce 4 coach jackson, they send you down to the dakotas for rehabilitation. i heard the new dakota wizards uniforms will be pepto-bismol pink.

  • Woah Nellie

    Wasn’t this club just wiped out by a flood of biblical proportions?

  • Fact Checker

    Knicks also have their own D-League team…


    This is a great long-term strategy. This will help our youngsters develop in a consistent system to get them up to speed on our plays.

  • Yoda

    There are very solid reasons for the team to buy a D-League franchise. Control over coaching, style of play, how the roster players are used, all those are important. Moving the team close to the big club also makes perfect sense, since it gives the front office more opportunities to observe development. San Jose is probably the best choice from a couple of perspectives besides paranoia about Ellison. One, these teams actually do need to draw fans and try to make some money. Two, available facilities.

    Whatever minimal help it provides in holding territory is probably not a primary reason.

  • DW

    It would be great if they could move the team immediately since there still will be a D-League season during the lockout. We could see all 3 plus J. Lin play in San Jose. Maybe some games will be shown locally.

  • nick s.

    i agree with the whole reasoning to move the team to san jose. it makes sense 1) blocks or at lest it helps put up a fight if someone else trys to move into san jose. 2) why go put a team in a tiny town where out side of that town your product cant grow. put it in a big city right in your back yard in a popular area(bay area) where you have acces to hundreds of millions of people. the games are broadcast on versus already and comcast owns the bay area so now you have double the tv rights to broadcast your team and future stars. if done right the team can prosper and will make the warriors a great market for players to come to. the way it is now. say you get traded to the warriors but they say hey we want you to get your game back up so you gotta go play in the d league. and o yea sorry its in dakota. now would you be happy with that? or would you rather here them say o yea and youll be playing in san jose in the bay area. so you still have the luxury of the night life. shopping centers. big movie theaters and its beautiful city for you and your family to move to. not far from warriors games so you can come and sit court side. or up top in the boxes and watch us play vs sitting in your apartment in a small town wishing you were here. some of you may say its just minor league basketball. but for players if you have a chance to go to a top notch team where they will treat you right wouldnt you wana go there vs some other team who doesnt care who you are until you make them big bucks and they shove you in small town in the middle of now where.

  • Ricky B

    what else you got??

  • junior

    PS. Ellison will just buy San Jose or the Bay Area for that matter.

  • Italy415

    Nice job Joe and CO. Keep it going.. Half these people that write comments they know nothing about nothing…

  • G.O.

    You are right about people that write comments, they know NOTHING about, like: GSWs. Just a hater, no facts.
    Must be related to Meir.

  • Bucky

    I hope the San Jose Wizards hire Musselman, he is probably the best coach in D-League.

  • Big Mama

    Will the W’s have rights to all players on the Bismark Wiz’ roster? Looks like the former Georgia Tech stud PG Javaris Crittenton had a nice season there – would be a nice backup PG for us. http://www.nba.com/dleague/playerfile/javaris_crittenton/index.html?nav=page

  • Mr. Lacob, If any chance that you are reading this, please look into free agency.. Look at all these biggs and pfs that can help turn this program around.. Nene, M. Gasol, Deandre Jordan, Dalembert, a lot of high energy, dirty work, all over the place, grimey pfs.. Do not pass up this oppertunity..This years free agency for us is better than last year..

  • dgreen

    Man if we were to send tyler down there, i would be very upset, he deserves a roster spot and he will prove it. He is already better than beidrins and tougher, can score better than Amundson and Udoh! and probably ply better defense than David Lee. He should get that roster spot and be in rotation or start the youngster. Why not! I thin he will come along fine in camp. Glad the warriors bought a D-League franchise. Not sure why we ever got jeremy Lin and then never play him. he did better than Acie Law

  • mwlx

    If Bismarck is ‘exciting’ for Mr. Lacob, what’s going to happen to this poor man if the Warriors sign Nene? Unbridled hysteria? Conniption fit?

  • ballhog :-)

    where is everyone?