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Heat purchase controlling interest in D-League affiliate Skyforce

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Miami will continue its successful partnership with Sioux Falls with a new business arrangement.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have announced today that they have purchased a controlling interest in their NBA Development League affiliate team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Miami will continue to have full control over basketball operations while the Heineman family will continue to run the Skyforce’s business operations.

“We are so proud to enter into this partnership with the Miami HEAT,” said Skyforce President and Owner Mike Heineman. “They have been so good for the Skyforce and for the city of Sioux Falls. To be able to expand our partnership with Miami while keeping the team in Sioux Falls were our two biggest goals throughout this process.”

Miami has been affiliated with Sioux Falls for the past eight seasons and entered into a single-affiliate partnership during the 2013-14 season. Since then, the Skyforce have enjoyed a 129-71 (.645) record, the most among any teams in the D-League during that span, including a record-setting 40-win season in 2015-16 in which the Skyforce won the 2016 NBA Development League championship.

“This is the next step in solidifying and strengthening our already successful partnership,” said HEAT Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations/General Manager Andy Elisburg. “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.”

Starting next season, the D-League will become the G-League in a unique partnership between the NBA and Gatorade. Sioux Falls won two Continental Basketball Association (CBA) championships in 1996 and 2005 before joining the D-League in 2006. In addition to winning the championship last season, the Skyforce have captured three division titles and three postseason berths since entering their single-affiliate partnership with the Heat four years ago.