Athletic organizations often refer to themselves as a family and that's exactly how the Miami Heat are treating the Skyforce after forming a hybrid partnership with the Sioux Falls D-League franchise. Monday, the NBA champions introduced two long-time Heat employees as the Force's new head coach and general manager, and they're excited to get started.
After years with the Miami Heat, Pat Delany and Adam Simon are ready for a new opportunity. Delany will take over as head coach of the Skyforce while Simon will be the GM.
"We see it as an extension of the Heat basically. This is our farm team. This is our developmental squad. It's basically the Miami Heat in Sioux Falls," Simon said.
While both men's goal is to make sure their work supports the continued success of the Heat, they know their close relationships with Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra could help them in Sioux Falls as well - meaning more players could be assigned to the Force's roster.
"First and foremost, we all know, whatever is best for the Heat and best for coach 'Spo' (Erik Spoelstra) I'm totally on board with. But if he doesn't mind doing that as well, I'm not going to fault him for it or complain about it at all. He's been a great mentor to me, taught me so much, not only basketball but life itself. I know I wouldn't be here or have this opportunity without him," Delany said.
Well-versed in how the Heat do business on the court, Delany says the Skyforce's style of play will be a mirror-image of Miami.
"The best teams can play big. They can play small. They can play fast. They can play slow. Obviously we'll have our style of play but it will be my job to make those adjustments over the course of games depending on the opponent and how we want to play. I had an opportunity to do that this summer in summer league as an assistant coach and I loved every second of it," Delany said.
Delany is the 16th head coach in the Skyforce history. He spent the past six years as an advance scout for the Heat and has been with the organization for 11 years.