The Indiana Pacers have become the 10th National Basketball Association team to buy their D-League affiliate.
The Pacers now own the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, last year's runner-up in the NBA Development League. Terms were not disclosed Wednesday. The acquisition had been expected.
John Zeglis, Julie Potter and Jeff Potter were the majority investors in the Fort Wayne Basketball Group, which owned the team. The team will now be owned by Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which is led by Herb Simon.
Following the announcement, the Pacers said they had hired Brian Levy as the Mad Ants' new general manager. A coaching staff has not yet been hired.
The Mad Ants had affiliations with several other NBA teams but will drop them under Pacers ownership.
“Indiana’s purchase of the Mad Ants signals an important milestone for the NBA D-League, as all 19 of the league’s teams are now owned by, or in hybrid partnerships with, their NBA parent clubs,” D-League President Malcolm Turner said in awritten statement. “I’m excited to welcome Herb Simon and the Pacers’ front office into the NBA D-League family. I also extend my thanks to outgoing Mad Ants owners John Zeglis and Jeff Potter, whose commitment to excellence on and off the court helped shape the NBA D-League.”
The Mad Ants won the D-League championship in 2014 and reached the title game this year.
“Owning the Mad Ants will be integral to developing our young talent,” Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird in a written statement. “We’ll have the ability to institute the same offensive and defensive systems as the Pacers run and create a winning basketball culture across the state of Indiana. We are excited to build on the team’s success in Fort Wayne while using it as a training ground for players, coaches and front-office personnel.”