|Fort Wayne Mad Ants|
|League||NBA G League|
|History||Fort Wayne Mad Ants|
|Arena||Allen County War Memorial Coliseum|
|Location||Fort Wayne, Indiana|
|Team colors||Navy blue, gold, cool gray|
|General manager||Chris Taylor|
|Head coach||Tom Hankins|
|Ownership||Pacers Sports and Entertainment|
|Conference titles||2 (2014, 2015)|
|Division titles||2 (2014, 2018)|
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants are an American professional basketball team of the NBA G League, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The team plays their home games at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Mad Ants won their first and only championship in 2014, when the G League was known as the NBA D-League. In September 2015, the Indiana Pacers purchased the Mad Ants/
2007-12: Early years
In April 2007, the NBA Development League (D-League) announced it was expanding to Fort Wayne for the 2007–08 season. The team was poised to be the first minor league basketball franchise to play in Fort Wayne since the Fort Wayne Fury were disbanded after the folding of the Continental Basketball Association in 2001. The franchise held a team-naming contest on their website where fans could vote on one of the four finalists: Lightning, Fire, Coyotes, and Mad Ants, a salute to the city's namesake General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.
At the team's inception, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants were affiliated with the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers. They finished the 2007-18 season, their first in the D-League, with a 17-33 record that put them in last place in the Central Division.
The Mad Ants added the Milwaukee Bucks as their third affiliate for the 2008–09 season. They ended that season with a 19-31 record and posted three more under-.500 records in the next three years, failing to make the playoffs in their first five years of competition.
2012-15: Playoff success
The Mad Ants added the Charlotte Bobcats, now the Hornets, as their fourth NBA affiliate before in the 2012-13 season. They made the D-League playoffs for the first time in 2013, losing to the Santa Cruz Warriors in the first round after going 27-23 in the regular season.
The next year, the Mad Ants won their division with a 34-16 record and made it to the D-League Finals for the first time after beating the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the semifinal series. The Mad Ants defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 2–0 in the Finals to claim their first D-League title.
As most NBA teams began exclusively partnering with or acquiring their own D-League teams, the Mad Ants made affiliate partnerships with the rest of the teams that did not have exclusive affiliates in 2014: the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls, the Brooklyn Nets, the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Toronto Raptors, and the Washington Wizards. This put the Mad Ants' total number of NBA affiliates at 14 for the 2014-15 season. The Mad Ants made it to the D-League Finals again in 2015, but lost the championship series to the Santa Cruz Warriors in two games. By 2015, the Mad Ants were the only remaining independently owned team in the D-League, as the rest were owned and operated their parent team or a common parent organization.
2015-present: Pacers era
In September 2015, Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) purchased the Mad Ants from owner and president John Zeglis and made the team the Indiana Pacers' one-to-one D-League affiliate, dropping the rest of the Mad Ants' partnerships. Brian Levy was named general manager by PS&E.
In 2017, the Mad Ants rebranded and changed their colors to the same colors as the Pacers: navy blue, gold, cool gray and white. This was the same year that the NBA Development League was rebranded as the NBA G League following a sponsorship deal with Gatorade and the NBA.
After spending the 2020-21 season at the NBA G League single site in Orlando, Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mad Ants returned to their home court at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on November 6, 2021, playing their first home game in the venue in 608 days against the Windy City Bulls. This game also marked the start of the Mad Ants' 15th Anniversary season.
|Season||Division||Regular season||Postseason results|
|Fort Wayne Mad Ants|
|2012–13||Eastern||2nd||27||23||.540||Lost First Round (Santa Cruz) 0–2|
|2013–14||Eastern||1st||34||16||.680||Won First Round (Reno) 2–0|
Won Semifinals (Sioux Falls) 2–0
Won Championship (Santa Cruz) 2–0
|2014–15||Central||2nd||28||22||.560||Won First Round (Maine) 2–0|
Won Semifinals (Canton) 2–0
Lost Championship (Santa Cruz) 0–2
|2016–17||Central||2nd||30||20||.600||Lost First Round (Maine) 1–2|
|Fort Wayne Mad Ants|
|2017–18||Central||1st||29||21||.580||Lost Conf. Semifinal (Erie) 116–119|
|2019–20||Central||4th||21||22||.488||Season cancelled by COVID-19 pandemic|
|Regular season record||331||361||.478||2007–present|
Notable former players
- Isaiah Jackson (2021-22), Indiana Pacers center
- Goga Bitadze (2019-21), Indiana Pacers center
- Jakarr Sampson (2019-20), Virtus Bologna forward
- Hasheem Thabeet (2019-2020), former NBA center, second-overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft
- Georges Niang (2016-17), Philadelphia 76ers forward
- Mike Muscala (2014-15), Oklahoma City Thunder center
- Noah Vonleh (2014), Boston Celtics forward
- Khris Middleton (2012-13), Milwaukee Bucks forward, 2021 NBA Champion, Olympic gold medalist
- Miles Plumlee (2012-13), former NBA center, first-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Fort Wayne native
- Ron Howard (2007-10, 2011-14), 2014 NBA D-League MVP and "Mr. Mad Ant"
Head coaching history
|#||Head coach||Term||Regular season||Playoffs||Achievements|
|5||Conner Henry||2013–2015||100||62||38||.620||12||10||2||.833||Won Championship (2013–14)|
Current and former NBA affiliates
- Indiana Pacers (2007–present)
- Detroit Pistons (2007–2015)
- Milwaukee Bucks (2008–2015)
- Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (2012–2015)
- Atlanta Hawks (2014–2015)
- Brooklyn Nets (2014–2015)
- Chicago Bulls (2014–2015)
- Denver Nuggets (2014–2015)
- Los Angeles Clippers (2014–2015)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (2014–2015)
- New Orleans Pelicans (2014–2015)
- Portland Trail Blazers (2014–2015)
- Toronto Raptors (2014–2015)
- Washington Wizards (2014–2015)
In popular culture
- In the television series One Tree Hill episode "You've Dug Your Own Grave, Now Lie In It", James Lafferty's character Nathan Scott receives an offer to coach the team. The episode originally aired September 29, 2008 on The CW Network.
- The Mad Ants were featured in the 'MyCareer' mode in NBA 2K19, a basketball game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports.
- Wiening, Logan (July 8, 2017). "Mad Ants Unveil New Look at Three Rivers Festival Parade". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- "Fort Wayne Mad Ants Reproduction Guideline Sheet". NBA Properties, Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Fort Wayne Mad Ants Announce Basketball Operations Changes". OurSports Central. September 15, 2021.
- Pacers buy D-League's Mad Ants to enhance player development
- "NBA selects Fort Wayne for D-League franchise". The Journal Gazette. April 10, 2007. Archived from the original on May 1, 2007.
- "The Ants Are Coming!". NBA Development League. June 18, 2007. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "NBA Development League: Skyforce at Mad Ants Game Info". Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
- Fort Wayne Mad Ants Capture 2014 NBA Development League Title Archived April 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- Schlosser, Keith (April 14, 2015). "Q&A w/ Fort Wayne Mad Ants' President Jeff Potter". Ridiculous Upside. Retrieved July 31, 2022.
- Brian Levy Named General Manager of Fort Wayne Mad Ants
- Warden, Steve (September 25, 2008). "TV plot bringing team to 'Tree Hill'". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved October 1, 2008.