Clippers form NBA D-League affiliate 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, Calif.

The Los Angeles Clippers have their own NBA Development League affiliate.

On Monday, the franchise announced the acquisition of the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, which will begin play for the 2017-17 season.

The team is named for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognized Tribe located in Palm Springs, Calif.

The Clippers’ new D-League affiliate will play its 24 home games at Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena, located 40 miles west of Los Angeles. Citizens Business Bank Arena, which opened in 2008, is the largest arena in the Inland Empire and is also home to the Ontario Reign, the Kings’ AHL affilate.

The NBA D-League now has a record 26 teams for the 2017-18 season, all of which are owned or operated by an NBA club.

“This is another exciting day for the NBA D-League as we add a record 26th team and continue to move closer to our 30-team vision,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner in a release. “Today’s announcement is the latest example of the value NBA teams place on developing young talent on and off the court. I’m thrilled to welcome Steve Ballmer and the Clippers, in partnership with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, to the NBA D-League family.”

“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.”

“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.”