|League||NBA Development League|
NBA D-League: 2006–2012 Santa Cruz Warriors
|Arena||Bismarck Civic Center|
|Location||Bismarck, North Dakota|
|Team colors||Royal Blue, Golden Yellow, White (2011-2012)
Purple, Green, Black, Silver, White (2008-2009 2010-2011)
Purple, Black, Silver, White (2006-2007 through 2007-2008)
|Ownership||Golden State Warriors|
|Affiliation(s)||Golden State Warriors|
|Championships||(4) 2 CBA 1 IBA 1 D-League|
|Division / Conference titles||(8) 4 CBA 2 IBA 2 D-League|
- 1 History
- 1.1 Beginnings in IBA
- 1.2 2001-02: CBA merger and championship
- 1.3 2002-03
- 1.4 2003-04: Best season yet, another CBA title
- 1.5 2004-05
- 1.6 2005-06: Darkest Before Dawn
- 1.7 2006-07: On to the D-League, championship
- 1.8 The Darker Era
- 1.9 2011-12: Warriors ownership and return to the playoffs
- 1.10 Relocation
- 2 Season By Season
- 3 Players assigned by NBA teams
- 4 Players recalled by NBA teams
- 5 Players called up by NBA teams
- 6 Affiliates
- 7 Retired numbers
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Beginnings in IBA
The team was originally formed 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.
2001-02: CBA merger and championship
In 2001, the IBA merged with several teams from the CBA. While it was expected that the smaller, regional IBA franchises would not survive against the stronger CBA squads, the Wizards 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.
In the 2002-03 season, they were the favorites to win the title, but they lost in the semi-finals to the eventual champion, the Yakama Sun Kings.
2003-04: Best season yet, another CBA title
In their best-yet third season, the Wizards finished with a 34-14 regular season record, which placed them as the top team in the league. The Wizards 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 Wizards for a coaching opportunity with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The Wizards announced that former assistant coach Casey Owens would become the head coach and Brian Walsh would become the assistant. The Wizards 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 Wizards 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 Wizards 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.
2005-06: Darkest Before Dawn
After the 2004-05 season, head coach Casey Owens was replaced by former Baylor University head coach Dave Bliss. The Wizards 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 Wizards finished 19-29 and missed the playoffs.
2006-07: On to the D-League, championship
The Wizards left the CBL in March 2006, and 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 Wizards 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 Wizards, 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 Wizards won the D-League championship, defeating the Colorado 14ers 129-121 in overtime.
The Darker Era
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 Wizards 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.
2011-12: Warriors ownership and return to the playoffs
On June 28, 2011, the Wizards were sold to the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association, making them the fourth D-League team to be fully owned and operated by an NBA team. The Wizards remained in Bismarck during the 2011-2012 season, but were already looking to relocate to California the following season. To reflect the new ownership, the Wizards 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 was still used with the team's road uniforms, while the blue and gold was used with the home uniforms and the logo. The Wizards made the Playoffs for the 2011-2012 season, led by the NBA D-League Rookie of the Year and D-League All Star Edwin Ubiles. Even with Ubiles' leadership, they couldn't get past the Bakersfield Jam who swept them 2-0.
On April 4, 2012, the Golden State Warriors announced their intent to relocate the Wizards to Santa Cruz, California in time for the 2012-13 season. The proposal was first discussed at a meeting of the Santa Cruz City Council on April 10, 2012. A decision was approved by the Santa Cruz City Council on May 22 and the team will finally be relocated to Santa Cruz to become the Santa Cruz Warriors for the 2012-13 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|
|Regular season total||418||312||.573||1995-2012|
|IBA regular season||110||88||.556||1995-2001|
|CBA regular season||142||90||.612||2001-2006|
|D-League regular season||166||134||.553||2006-2012|
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
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
- Chicago Bulls (2006–2007)
- Golden State Warriors (2011–present)
- Memphis Grizzlies (2007–2011)
- Washington Wizards (2006–2011)
- James Hill #5
- Maurice Baker #23
- Kevin Rice #32
- Kevin Beard #35
- Willie Murdaugh #41