Santa Cruz Warriors
|Santa Cruz Warriors|
NBA D-League: 2006–2012
Santa Cruz Warriors
|Arena||Kaiser Permanente Arena|
|City||Santa Cruz, California|
|Team colors||Royal Blue, Golden Yellow, White
|Head coach||Casey Hill|
|Owner||Golden State Warriors|
(4) 2 CBA 1 IBA 1 D-League
Santa Cruz Warriors
|Division / Conference titles||Dakota Wizards
(8) 4 CBA 2 IBA 2 D-League
Santa Cruz Warriors
|Affiliations||Golden State Warriors|
The Santa Cruz Warriors are an American basketball team in the NBA Development League, based in Santa Cruz, California. Home games are played at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. Prior to the move to Santa Cruz for the 2012-2013 season, the team was known as the Dakota Wizards.
The team was previously known as the Dakota Wizards and was founded in 1995 as a member of the International Basketball Association, a basketball circuit based in the northern United States and western Canada. In the IBA's final year of operation, the 2000-01 season, the Wizards took the IBA title. The IBA merged with several teams from the CBA in 2001 while it was expected that the smaller, regional IBA franchises would not survive against the stronger CBA squads. The team though performed well with a regular season record of 26-14, and a single-elimination 116-109 win over the Rockford Lightning in the CBA's championship game. The team was favored to win the title in the 2002-03 season, but lost in the semi-finals to the eventual champion, the Yakama Sun Kings. The team finished with a 34-14 regular season record, which placed them as the top team in the league in their third season. They beat the Rockford Lightning 3-1 in the best-of-five semi-finals of the playoffs, and in the winner-take-all championship game, they beat the Idaho Stampede 132-129.
After the 2003-2004 season, coach Dave Joerger left the team for a coaching opportunity with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The team announced that former assistant coach Casey Owens would become the head coach and Brian Walsh would become the assistant. The team lost their opening two games versus the Skyforce, but then cruised to a 12-game winning streak before losing to Sioux Falls on New Year's Eve, 2004. The team also lost two potential all-stars, Billy Keys and Dickey Simpkins, who left the team in mid-season to play overseas. In the end, the team clinched home court advantage throughout the 2005 playoffs with a league-best 32-16 record. Dakota split their first four playoff games with their first-round opponents, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, until Sioux Falls won game five with a 102-97 victory.
After the 2004-05 season, head coach Casey Owens was replaced by former Baylor University head coach Dave Bliss an the team's ownership never made it clear why Owens was not offered a new contract after coaching the team to the best record in the CBA in 2004-05. Hiring Bliss caused some controversy among basketball fans, as Bliss was previously involved in a basketball scandal involving the death of one of his Baylor University players, Patrick Dennehy. Dave Bliss then resigned after the 2005-2006 season, in which the team finished 19-29 and missed the playoffs. The team was widely speculated that they were going to fold, but on April 1, the team announced a three-year lease agreement with their arena. Five days later, on April 6, they announced they were switching to the NBA Development League.
On May 25, 2006, the team announced that Dave Joerger would be returning as the team's Head Coach for the 2006-2007 NBA Development League season. He was signed to a two-year deal. A few weeks later it was announced that the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards would be the team's NBA affiliates. The number of affiliates varied from team to team. Some had three affiliates, some had two, and the Los Angeles D-Fenders had one. As former CBA teams, the team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce and the Idaho Stampede had more experience in signing players, so they were given two affiliates each. The less experienced teams were given three. On April 29, 2007, the team won the D-League championship, defeating the Colorado 14ers 129-121 in overtime.
On June 22, 2007, the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA hired Wizards coach Dave Joerger as an assistant coach along with Johnny Davis and Gordon Chiesa. As a result of the Grizzlies hiring Joerger, the Wizards became affiliated with the Grizzlies, while the Bulls were bumped to a more regional team, the expansion Iowa Energy. Since the departure of Dave Joerger, the team were coached by Duane Ticknor during the next two season, in which they made the play-offs both times, but never made it to the finals. Rory White was given the coaching position for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, making the play-offs during his first year, but barely missing out during the second year. It was the first time the Wizards failed to make a postseason appearance since 2005-2006, and just the second time since 1998-1999.
On June 28, 2011, the team was sold to the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association, making it the fourth D-League team to be fully owned and operated by an NBA team. The team remained in Bismarck during the 2011-2012 season, but the Warriors were looking to relocate the team to California the following season. To reflect the new ownership, the team debuted with a new color scheme, the Warriors' blue and gold, used as an alternative to the purple and green, which dates back to their IBA days. The old color scheme is still used with the team's road uniforms, while the blue and gold is used with the home uniforms and the logo.
Santa Cruz Warriors
On April 4, 2012, the Golden State Warriors announced their intent to relocate the team to Santa Cruz, California in time for the 2012-13 season. The decision was approved by the Santa Cruz City Council on May 22. The team was then renamed Santa Cruz Warriors. A $3.5 million loan from the city was given for the construction of a venue, the Kaiser Permanente Arena. Travis Leslie was picked up on the 2012 NBA Development League Draft, and would later become the team's star.
On December 23, 2012, the Santa Cruz Warriors played their home opener against the Bakersfield Jam after having spent the season on a seven-game road trip. Both Kent Bazemore and Jeremy Tyler from the Golden State Warriors were on the lineup. Even with Leslie's injuries and a short but unsuccessful call-up from the Utah Jazz, the Warriors finished third overall in the league, and only two games behind the Bakersfield Jam in the Western Division. Highlights of the team included Golden State assignee Scott Machado, former NBA players Hilton Armstrong and Jeremy Tyler, Most Improved Player winner Cameron Jones, and Stefhon Hannah, who won Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Santa Cruz embraced the team, and the Warriors lead the league in overall revenue with $1.2 million, and despite having having the most expensive tickets of the D-League, also had the highest average number of individual tickets sold per game with 709, and ticket revenue per game, at $52,651. The team reached the 2013 D-League finals, where it got swept by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
On August 23, 2013, the Warriors announced Casey Hill as the head coach for the 2013–14 season.
Season By Season
|1996–97||IBA||2nd||17||13||.567||Won Semifinals (Magic City) 2-1
Lost IBA Finals (Black Hills) 2-1
|1999–2000||IBA||West||1st||30||6||.833||Won Division Semifinals (Winnipeg) 2-0
Lost Division Finals (Magic City) 3-1
|2000–01||IBA||West||1st||30||10||.750||Won Division Semifinals (Magic City) 2-0
Won Division Finals (Saskatchewan) 2-0
Won IBA Finals (Des Moines) 3-2
|2001–02||CBA||National||1st||26||14||.650||Won Semifinals (Fargo-Moorhead) 3-0
Won CBA Finals (Rockford) 116-109
|2002–03||CBA||National||1st||31||17||.646||Lost Semifinals (Yakima) 3-1|
|2003–04||CBA||1st||34||14||.708||Won Semifinals (Rockford) 3-1
Won CBA Finals (Idaho) 132-129
|2004–05||CBA||West||1st||32||16||.667||Lost Semifinals (Sioux Falls) 3-2|
|2006–07||D-League||Eastern||1st||33||17||.660||Won Division Finals (Sioux Falls) 115-113
Won D-League Finals (Colorado) 129-121 (OT)
|2007–08||D-League||Central||1st||29||21||.580||Lost Round 1 (Sioux Falls) 101-89|
|2008–09||D-League||Central||2nd||27||23||.540||Won Round 1 (Iowa) 114-109
Lost Semifinals (Utah) 103-93
|2009–10||D-League||Eastern||3rd||29||21||.580||Lost Round 1 (Austin) 2-1|
|2011–12||D-League||Eastern||2nd||29||21||.580||Lost Round 1 (Bakersfield) 2-0|
|Santa Cruz Warriors|
|2012–13||D-League||Western||2nd||32||18||.640||Won Round 1 (Fort Wayne) 2-0
Won Semifinals (Austin) 2-0
Lost D-League Finals (Rio Grande Valley) 0-2
|Regular season total||450||330||.577||1995–2013|
|IBA regular season||110||88||.556||1995–2001|
|CBA regular season||142||90||.612||2001–2006|
|D-League regular season||198||152||.566||2006–2013|
Santa Cruz Warriors roster
Players assigned by NBA teams
- Martynas Andriuskevicius - assigned by the Chicago Bulls on December 11, 2006
- Hamed Haddadi - assigned by the Memphis Grizzlies on November 25, 2008 and February 17, 2009
- Hasheem Thabeet - assigned by the Memphis Grizzlies on February 25, 2010
- Lester Hudson - assigned by the Memphis Grizzlies on February 28, 2010
- DeMarre Carroll - assigned by the Memphis Grizzlies on December 14, 2010
- Hamady N'diaye - assigned by the Washington Wizards on January 6, 2011
- Seth Curry - assigned by the Golden State Warriors on October 31, 2013
Players recalled by NBA teams
- Martynas Andriuskevicius - recalled by the Chicago Bulls on December 26, 2006
- Hamed Haddadi - recalled by the Memphis Grizzlies on December 24, 2008 and March 18, 2009
- Hasheem Thabeet - recalled by the Memphis Grizzlies on March 8, 2010
- Lester Hudson
- DeMarre Carroll - recalled by the Memphis Grizzlies on January 5, 2011
- Hamady N'diaye - recalled by the Washington Wizards on February 4, 2011
Players called up by NBA teams
- Sean Lampley - called up by the Golden State Warriors on November 13, 2003
- Oliver Miller - called up by the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 13, 2003
- Kaniel Dickens - called up by the Portland Trail Blazers on December 19, 2003
- Maurice Carter - called up by the Los Angeles Lakers on January 30, 2004 and the New Orleans Hornets on March 25, 2004
- Eddie Gill - called up by the Portland Trail Blazers on February 5, 2004
- Rodney Buford - called up by the Sacramento Kings on February 21, 2004
- Billy Thomas - called up by the New Jersey Nets on January 20, 2005
- Maurice Baker - called up by the Los Angeles Clippers on February 22, 2005 and the Portland Trail Blazers on March 12, 2005
- Justin Williams - called up by the Sacramento Kings on January 5, 2007
- Renaldo Major - called up by the Golden State Warriors on January 17, 2007
- Blake Ahearn - called up by the Miami Heat on March 21, 2008 and the San Antonio Spurs on November 16, 2008
- Chris Johnson - called up by the Portland Trail Blazers on January 24, 2011 and March 14, 2011, and called up by the Boston Celtics on February 24, 2011
- Scott Machado - called up by the Golden State Warriors in 2013
- Chicago Bulls (2006–2007)
- Golden State Warriors (2011–present)
- Memphis Grizzlies (2007–2011)
- Washington Wizards (2006–2011)
- May, Jacob. "NBA D-League: Santa Cruz Warriors slam Jam in inaugural home game". Santa Cruz Sentenial. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Casey Hill Hired as Santa Cruz Head Coach