The L.A. Clippers and the NBA Development League announced that the Clippers have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will begin play in Ontario, California for the 2017-18 season when the league will be called the NBA Gatorade League. The team’s name will be the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario.
The team is named for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognized Tribe located in Palm Springs, California. The Tribe owns and operates the Agua Caliente Casino Resorts, which includes the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage and Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs. Agua Caliente Resorts is the Clippers’ Presenting Sponsor as well as the team’s Official Tribal Casino partner. With 31,500 acres of reservation lands that spread across Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage and into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, the Tribe also owns Tahquitz and Indian Canyons recreational areas, and two 18-hole championship golf courses.
With this announcement, the NBA D-League grows to a record 26 teams for the 2017-18 season, all of which are owned or operated by an NBA club.
The Clippers’ new D-League affiliate will play its 24 home games at Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena, which is located 40 miles east of Los Angeles.
“This is a great day for the Clippers,” said Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers. “Having our own development team in the Inland Empire is another example of the dedication and investment to winning and creating a first-class organization that Steve Ballmer brings to this franchise. We now have a place close to home where our young players and staff members have the ability to develop and gain important experience.” The NBA D-League recently completed a landmark season, establishing records for unique NBA players assigned with 92 and players on end-of-regular-season NBA rosters having NBA D-League experience with 199 (44% of NBA players).
“We are proud to team-up with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to bring highly competitive professional basketball to the Inland Empire,” said Clippers President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker. “This region has already demonstrated enormous passion for the Clippers. Locating our team in Ontario allows us to reward that enthusiasm and continue to build a deep connection with these fans by offering affordable, family fun right in their backyard.”
“We’re very excited about this partnership with the Clippers in the formation of a new basketball team,” Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said. “Having a sports team named after our people is a great honor that recognizes the relevance of our history and culture as well as our existence today. Naming a team after a Tribe is a first for the NBA and the D-League.” Mark your calendar for an exciting fall season at Citizens Business Bank Arena. For more information contact our Premium Seating Department at 909.244.5525.