NBA D-League Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the NBA D-League?
- What is the origin of the NBA D-League name?
- Where are the NBA D-League teams located?
- How are NBA D-League teams affiliated with NBA teams?
- What is the length of the NBA D-League season?
- What is the format of the NBA D-League Playoffs and Finals?
- What is the NBA D-League's role in relation to social responsibility?
- How does the NBA D-League develop its players off of the basketball court?
- Is the NBA D-League the NBA’s version of Minor League Baseball?
- Where can I find official D-League rules?
- What is the difference between a GATORADE Call-Up and a player assignment?
- Where do NBA D-League players come from?
- How does the NBA D-League scout players?
- How does the NBA scout NBA D-League players?
- Are NBA players allowed to rehab injuries in the NBA D-League?
- Where can I purchase tickets to NBA D-League games?
- How can I watch NBA D-League games?
- Where can I find official D-League records and statistics?
- How many current NBA players, coaches, officials and front office staff came from the D-League?
- What prominent NBA players came from the D-League?
- What is the D-League Showcase?
- How does the NBA D-League participate in All-Star?
- What are the NBA D-League's expansion plans?
- How can I find out about investment opportunities in NBA D-League markets?
- How can I try out for an NBA D-League team?
- How can I become an official in the NBA D-League?
- How can I work the NBA D-League or one of its teams?
- Want to contact us? Click here.
- What is the address to the NBA D-League office?
1. What is the NBA D-League?
The NBA D-League is an engaging and innovative sports property that embodies the dedication and passion for basketball shared by its promising and talented players. It prides itself on its deep roots to the NBA, the bonds that its teams forge with their local communities, and the accessibility and excitement it provides to fans and partners.
The NBA D-League name stands for “NBA Development League.” The league first operated with the title of National Basketball Development League (NBDL) from its inception in 2001 to the summer of 2005. The name was then changed to NBA D-League to reflect the new and close affiliation with the NBA and its professional teams.
Albuquerque, NM ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/albuquerque)
Anaheim, CA ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/anaheim)
Austin, TX ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/austin)
Bakersfield, CA ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/bakersfield)
Broomfield, CO ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/colorado)
Bismarck, ND ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/dakota)
Erie, PA ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/erie/)
Fort Wayne, IN ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/fortwayne)
Boise, ID ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/idaho)
Des Moines, IA ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/iowa)
Los Angeles, CA ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/losangeles)
Portland, ME( http://www.nba.com/dleague/maine)
Hidalgo, TX ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/riograndevalley)
Reno, NV ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/reno)
Sioux Falls, SD ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/siouxfalls)
Tulsa, OK ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/tulsa)
Orem, UT ( http://www.nba.com/dleague/utah)
The 2008-09 NBA D-League season marks the fourth year that the league has utilized the NBA Affiliation system. Each team in the NBA D-League has one to three NBA affiliates who are permitted to assign players in their first or second seasons to the D-League. Players can be assigned up to the three times a season for any length of time.
Albuquerque Thunderbirds: Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat
Anaheim Arsenal: Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers
Austin Toros: San Antonio Spurs
Bakersfield Jam: Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic
Colorado 14ers: Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets
Dakota Wizards: Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards
Erie, BayHawks: Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers
Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks
Idaho Stampede: Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors
Iowa Energy: Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles D-Fenders: Los Angeles Lakers
Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets
Reno, Bighorns: New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings
Sioux Falls Skyforce: Charlotte Bobcats, Minnesota Timberwolves
Tulsa 66ers: Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Flash: Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz
For information on the 2008-09 season affiliations, please visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/affiliates_08611.html. .
The NBA D-League regular season is made up of 50 games. The 2008-09 season will tip-off on November 28 and will conclude on April 11. The NBA D-League Playoffs begin directly after the conclusion of the regular season.
For schedule information, please visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/schedules/.
The NBA D-League Playoffs consists of three rounds, with the first two rounds both consisting of two single-elimination games. The three division winners and three wild-card teams with the best remaining records (a total of six teams) will qualify for the playoffs. The two division winners with the best records receive a first round bye. Tie breakers are, in order, head-to-head record, winning percentage against teams over .500, and point differential.
The NBA D-League Finals consists of a best-of-three series. The team with the lower seed will host the first game before the series moves on to the site of the team with home-court advantage. This format differs from the structure used in the three seasons prior to the 2007-08 season, when the Championship Game was single-elimination.
For more information on the NBA D-League postseason, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/playoffs_101_080320.html.
The D-League Cares initiative demonstrates the commitment of the league, its teams and players in addressing important social issues by emphasizing health-related causes and educational, youth and family development. The best opportunity for the NBA D-League to build ties within communities is to become an active member, which the league continues to do through various year-round programs. This past season, NBA D-League Cares performed nearly 300 reading-related programs and activities, including Welcome Back to School Events, Read to Achieve Day and monthly Reading Timeouts.
The NBA D-League Player Development Department has the role of promoting personal, professional and social development of D-League players. Players participate in comprehensive educational programming and services to maximize their potential. These programs and services include seminars regarding off-court professional development, college degree completion, and life skills programs such as the Summer Apprenticeship Program (SAP). Players may also participate in a one-on-one Mentor Program, which matches accomplished NBA players with NBA D-League players who share similar career goals and aspirations. During this past season, NBA players serving as mentors included Thurl Bailey, Walter Davis, AC Green and Norm Nixon.
Rules and Operations
Yes. However, the NBA D-League has implemented various rules and operations that improve the minor league system relative to the sport of basketball. The team affiliation and player transaction processes in the NBA D-League have created a team- and player-friendly arrangement, granting NBA teams access to the full host of players in the NBA D-League and vice versa. Basketball teams are composed of fewer roster spots, and this approach has led to more opportunities for player transactions between the NBA and the NBA D-League. This open system between the two leagues has delivered positive results – over 15 percent of current NBA players are NBA D-League alumni.
The NBA D-League uses the same official game rules as the NBA. To view the official NBA game rules for the 2008-09 season, visit http://www.nba.com/media/rule_book_2007-08.pdf. (You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file.)
For a list of approved rule changes for the 2008-09 season, please visit http://www.nba.com/nba101/rules_changes_0708.html.
Previously, the NBA D-League experimented with the game rules and implemented concepts such as international goaltending and allowing three-pointers in only the last two minutes of every quarter and overtime. This season, the league will be testing a new Spalding two-panel leather ball and Spalding integrated basketball stanchions. As the most innovative and unique minor league, the NBA D-League is always open to experimenting with innovative rules and procedures in an attempt to improve the game.
A Gatorade Call-Up occurs when a NBA D-League player is signed by an NBA team. For example, Blake Ahearn was called-up from the Dakota Wizards to the Miami Heat in 2008.
A player assignment is when an NBA player in his first or second season is sent to his team’s NBA D-League affiliate in order to acquire additional playing time. Each NBA team may assign no more than two NBA players at one time to play with its affiliated NBA D-League team (though each NBA team retains the right to make such assignments to other NBA D-League teams at its discretion). For example, Morris Almond was assigned from the Utah Jazz to the Utah Flash in 2008.
For information on player transactions, please visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/dleague/transactions.html.
NBA D-League teams acquire players through a draft, player assignments, allocations, tryouts and a returning player pool. What separates players in the NBA D-League from other minor league systems is that players do not sign contracts with specific NBA D-League teams. Instead, all players sign a one-year NBA D-League Standard Player Contract with the league itself. All players are relieved of their contractual obligations if they sign a contract with an NBA team at any point in the season. Below please find descriptions of the various techniques that NBA D-League teams employ to fill their rosters:
Draft: Players who sign a contract with the NBA D-League are eligible for the NBA D-League draft, which takes place prior to the start of each season.
NBA Assignments: NBA teams can assign players who are rookies or in their second season to their D-League affiliate. Players can stay with the D-League team for as long as the team wishes, and be recalled back to the NBA at any time. However, a player can only be sent to the D-League a maximum of three times during the season.
There were 76 NBA D-League players with NBA experience on 2007-08 end-of-season NBA rosters, while 111 former NBA D-League players were on 2008 NBA training camp rosters.
Allocations: Teams can also be awarded allocation players. These are typically players with significant local or player appeal to that market. For example, Jeff Horner was allocated to the Iowa Energy in 2007 after playing for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
Tryouts: All D-League teams conduct local tryouts in late October of each year, from which players can be invited to training camp with a chance of making the team's roster.
Returning Players: Teams can invite a limited number of players back who played for that respective club during the previous season.
NBA D-League rosters must consist of 10 NBA D-League players, but may not exceed a total of 12 players, including NBA assignments. If more than two NBA players are assigned at once a team must reduce its roster to avoid going over 12 players.
The NBA D-League scouts players year-round and sends scouts and league officials to collegiate contests, NBA pre-draft camps, all NBA summer leagues, international camps and other domestic minor leagues. Additionally, team scouts and league officials view hundreds of game tapes from contests around the world in search of basketball talent.
NBA teams and NBA D-League Basketball Operations staff send their assigned scouting personnel to NBA D-League local tryouts, NBA summer leagues and NBA D-League games to evaluate players. Subsequently, there is an exchange of data between the NBA and NBA D-League personnel to compare and review the respective player evaluations.
NBA players in their first or second year can rehab injuries in the NBA D-League.
For example, the Denver Nuggets assigned guard Julius Hodge to the Colorado 14ers in December 2006 for a 30-day rehabilitation assignment after suffering a leg injury. More recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers assigned forward Cedric Simmons to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in January 2008 to rehabilitate an ankle injury. .
The NBA D-League is committed to engaging the communities of its teams and all basketball fans by providing family entertainment at affordable prices.
For ticket information, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/dleague/tickets.html. .
Every NBA D-League game is available to watch free via NBA Futurecast, the league’s live web streaming. Visit http://www.nba.com/dleague and click on “Watch LIVE” underneath the daily Scoreboard.
Additionally, NBA TV will broadcast games during the 2008-09 season. For the daily NBA TV schedule, visit http://www.nba.com/nba_tv/ . .
For the latest NBA D-League statistics, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/statistics/player/Scoring.jsp. .
As of September 2008, there are approximately 75 NBA players, or more than 15 percent of the league, who have spent time in the NBA D-League. There are also 19 NBA coaches who improved their skills in the NBA D-League. Furthermore, all 17 referee hires by the NBA since 2002 are former NBA D-League officials, accounting for more than 30 percent of all NBA officials. In the front office, 45 NBA D-League staff members have received positions in the professional basketball ranks. .
NBA players that came from the NBA D-League include veteran contributors such as:
And up-and-coming standouts like:
To see how former NBA D-League players are succeeding in the NBA, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/tracker/index.html .
The NBA D-League Showcase is one of the league's three marquee annual events and provides fun, excitement and drama for all who attend. For 2009 the event will take place in Orem, Utah and will feature over 60 NBA executives as well as 160 players; all hoping to impress, and fulfill their basketball dreams. The Showcase which was first played in 2005 was originally intended solely as a scouting event for NBA teams, but has evolved into a fan-friendly four day event attended by hoop fanatics, as well as families looking for a great time out together. In a span of four days each NBA D-League team plays two games apiece - the most concentrated minor league basketball competition in the country, and as the intense basketball action unfolds so do the futures of the players, coaches and referees.
This past season’s Showcase featured Shannon Brown, who was recalled immediately by the Cleveland Cavaliers after two outstanding performances. Benefiting the careers of NBA D-League players has been goal of the Showcase since its inception, but now the event has grown to impact scouts, fans and communities. To read more on the NBA D-League Showcase, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/showcase_index_08.html
For information on the 2009 NBA D-League Showcase, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/showcase_2009.html
The NBA D-League hosts a variety of events at NBA All-Star Weekend, including the Dream Factory Friday Night, which consists of a H.O.R.S.E. competition, a Slam Dunk Competition, a Three-Point Shootout and a Hot-Shot event, and the league’s very own All-Star game.
This past season at All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, fans were treated to the first ever H.O.R.S.E. competition, won by Lance Allred. In other events, Brent Petway won the Slam Dunk Competition, Adam Harrington captured the Three-Point Shootout title, Carlos Powell emerged victorious from the Hot-Shot, and the Blue All-Star team defeated the Red All-Star team 117-99 behind game MVP Jeremy Richardson’s 22 points.
For more information on NBA D-League events at NBA All-Star, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/allstar2008/index.html . .
The NBA D-League recently expanded to Reno, Nevada and Erie, Pennsylvania. These two teams will join the 14 existing teams at the start of the 2008-09 season. The NBA D-League’s foremost goals are to strengthen existing franchises and to build the perfect minor league system to develop players, coaches and front office executives. The NBA D-League continues to consider various models of growth, including the development of one-to-one relationships between NBA and NBA D-League teams. However, no timetable exists regarding league expansion. .
The NBA D-League is selectively looking at opportunities to add strong owners, markets and arenas to the league. For a more detailed description of the key elements involved in bringing the NBA D-League to a community, visit http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=5800000716. .
Prior to each season the NBA D-League offers open tryouts at the NBA D-League Pre-Draft Camp. For a recap on the 2008 camp, please visit http://my.nba.com/forum.jspa?forumID=5700012289. Additionally, you can visit NBA D-League President Dan Reed’s blog, Reed and Write, where he addressed trying out for the league by clicking http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=400024301 Be on the lookout for information regarding the 2009 NBA D-League Pre-Draft Camp and registration. .
Prior to each season the NBA D-League offers open tryouts at the NBA D-League Pre-Draft Camp. For information on this year’s camp, please visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/predraftcamp_08.html. Additionally, you can visit NBA D-League President Dan Reed’s blog, Reed and Write, where he addressed trying out for the league by clicking http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=400024301. .
You can apply for open positions by visiting http://www.nba.com/dleague and clicking on Career Opportunities – http://www.nba.com/careers. For inquiries into open positions with individual teams, please visit their Web site for team contact information.
Click here (http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/contact_the_dleague.html) to send an e-mail to the league office or click here (http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/writeandreed.html) to send an e-mail to NBA D-League President Dan Reed. .
NBA Development League
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