Note: I’m on vacation this week meaning El Bloggo will go dark … except for Monday, Wednesday and maybe Friday.
Now that the NBA season is over, the details of the new hybrid relationship between the Skyforce and the Miami Heat can begin to play out.
On Wednesday, Sioux Falls president Mike Heineman and vice president Jeremy DeCurtins met with a variety of Heat officials over a course of about 3 hours at the NBA Summer League in Orlando. The meeting mission: For the Force to impart to Miami the basics of running an NBA D-League team, things like key dates, the player acquisition process and general rules.
Decisions about staffing won’t be made until later, probably after the Summer Leagues wrap on July 22. Heat officials are likely to visit Sioux Falls after that, too.
"We’re not really pressing at this point," Heineman said. "We’re still trying to get comfortable with each other."
The Summer League made for an interesting setting for the meetings. Like the NBA Draft Combine, the event bring together heavy hitters from a front office and media standpoint. The Skyforce have become more a part of that scene in the last couple weeks with a few former players (Greg Stiemsma, New Orleans; Reggie Williams, Houston) and coaches (Dave Joerger and Duane Ticknor, Memphis) landing new NBA gigs.
Heineman was especially pleased to see Ticknor, a 58-year-old Vermillion native and former Force assistant, land a spot as an NBA assistant after toiling in the minor leagues for roughly 25 years.
"Ticknor’s a guy who’s given his life to minor-league basketball to finally get a shot," Heineman said. "Not many people stick with it that long. He wasn’t guaranteed anything."
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.