It’s January and the 2022-23 NBA G League season is well underway! It is the time of the season where G League players signing to the NBA teams picks up. Congratulations to the 15 players who have earned Gatorade Call ups so far this season. In the past players like Jeremy Lin, Seth Curry, and NBA champion Garry Peyton II have signed to NBA teams during the G League season.
If you’re not already familiar with the G League, it’s the NBA’s official minor league. Initially launched in the 2001-02 season, it was originally called the National Basketball Development League until Gatorade became its title sponsor in the 2017-18 season and it was renamed the NBA G League. Beyond acting as a pipeline for professional sport talent, G League acts as a research and development laboratory.
But there’s more to the G League than just providing an opportunity for hopefuls to fulfill their dreams of playing in the NBA. The G League is an opportunity for those interested in all aspects of professional sports: from coaching to marketing to operations. And for our teams to serve as community assets, providing a platform for people to connect around sports.
A special facet of the G League is it offers workers a chance to gain multidimensional skills. On any given day, support staff may find themselves working on marketing, operations, or working events; assistant coaches help with game strategy and preparation. This helps everyone make the most of their time with us and sharpen their leadership capabilities.
The G League is a place where people can learn from their peers, network with industry leaders, and make valuable connections that can help them reach heights in their career they would never have imagined. It’s a place that offers opportunities for people to grow on and off the court.
I always say that one of the special aspects of our league is that regardless of your job title, in the G League, you are always forced to expand your skills to help out in other areas. If you are a coach, you will work with players on the court and help with game plans, if you are a ticket seller you may be a part of the game presentation team or the social media team capturing behind-the-scenes content of the team. You have an opportunity to develop the skills and experience for a successful career in (and out of) professional sports. I love seeing all the talented people who grow into bigger roles in the G League or go on to roles with other leagues and teams.
One of my favorite things about the G League are all the great community events our teams hold from camps and clinics to the charities that our teams support through theme night jerseys and events. However, my favorite is school day games! G League teams are allowed to host as many as five early afternoon school day games each year. To be clear, this is kids ditching school to attend a G League game. The excitement from the young fans is unbelievable. I had a great time this past week attending the Wisconsin Herd’s school day against the Westchester Knicks. It was so loud you could not hear the game announcer. Congratulations Herd president Steve Brandes and the Herd on setting a Herd school day game attendance record.
Ultimately, the G League is dedicated to providing a platform for excellence. We believe in creating an environment where everyone feels welcome – regardless of their background. Whether you are a player, coach, support staff member, or fan, everyone has the opportunity to add value and make an impact. And that’s why we’re proud of our commitment to delivering community-based programming that serves as a catalyst for positive change in our cities and beyond.
What the 2022-23 season holds for the G League
As always, we look forward to a season of growth, experimentation, and progress. We have exciting plans to try out some new things. You may have already noticed some of the changes. Most notably this season, we will set a target score for games that go into overtime. Instead of an untimed OT period, teams will now play until the first one reaches seven points.
You will also notice that G League Ignite, a specialty team focused on developing young talent in anticipation of the NBA, is set to play a full 50-game NBA G League schedule for the 2022-23 season, and, for the first time ever, they are eligible for the championship.
Further, this year we will host the third year of our in-season tournament.
The G League has always been an extraordinary, transformative space, and this year is no exception. After the turbulence caused by COVID-19, we are looking forward to getting back to normal operation.
I am immensely proud and grateful to be part of an organization that not only strives to develop and refine the skills of tomorrow’s superstars but that also effects positive change in our communities.
Let’s continue to show the world what we can do when we pursue greatness with passion and purpose.