The franchise held a name-the-team contest on their website where fans could vote on one of the four finalists: Lightning, Fire, Coyotes, and Mad Ants. The winning name of Mad Ants was announced June 18, 2007, chosen as a salute to the city's and fort's namesake, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.
On July 17, 2012, it was announced by the NBA that the Mad Ants, in addition to their affiliations with the Pistons, Pacers, and Bucks, would also be affiliated with the Charlotte Bobcats beginning with the 2012-13 season.
On April 19, 2014, the Mad Ants made it through to NBA D-League Finals for the first time with a 126-118 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce, winning the second round series 2-0. On April 26, 2014, the Mad Ants defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 2 games to 0 to claim the franchise's first D-League title in their history. Following that season, the Mad Ants were affiliated with the remaining NBA teams that did not have exclusive affiliates, after the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic associated with the Bakersfield Jam and the Erie BayHawks, respectively, and after D-League teams were created for both the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.