The NBA Development League
Hundreds of NBA hopefuls keep their hoop dreams alive by playing in the NBA Development League. Kidzworld takes an inside look in the D-League!
The NBA Development League is the official minor league system of the NBA. Founded in 2001, the league started off with eight teams that were based in the southeastern part of the United States. Prior to the D-League, the primary basketball minor league was the CBA. The NBA created the NBA Development League because they wanted to have something that was set up similar to baseball's farm system. The NBA Development League was originally named the NBDL, but changed its name in 2005. It is also nicknamed the D-League.
Today the NBA Development League is comprised of 14 teams. All of the eight original teams have been relocated and the D-League now stretches all over America. Each team is privately owned and is individually linked to an NBA team or teams. For example, the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League is affiliated with the NBA's Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors. While the D-League's Los Angeles D-Fenders is solely affiliated with the Los Angeles Lakers. NBA teams can send down some of their rookies and younger players to develop their games.
Although playing internationally can earn a professional basketball player significantly more money, a lot of players opt to play in the D-League because of the chance to get called up to the NBA. In its six-year history, 69 players have been called up to play in the NBA. Many of those players have stuck in the NBA like Devin Brown, Kelenna Azubuike and Matt Carroll. Most of the D-League players are called up in January, when the NBA allows its teams to sign players to 10-day contracts.
Did U Know?
- A D-League season comprises of 40 games.
- An NBA Development League roster comprises of 12 players. Two of those roster positions are reserved for NBA players that teams send down to temporarily development their games.
- D-League players are paid between $20,000-$25,000 per season and their housing is also paid for.
- Last year, the league held its first ever All Star Game which took place during NBA's All Star Weekend in Las Vegas.
- Jordan Farmer of the Lakers became the first player in history to play a D-League game for the D-Fenders and a Lakers games in the same day.
- The NBA also uses the D-League to experiment with some of their rules and equipment. For example, the League is currently using the basketball that was briefly used in the NBA until players complained and had it removed.