Jared Brownridge of the Delaware Blue Coats will be one of many G League players showcasing their talents this week in Las Vegas. Photo by Wayne Terry, TPL.

The NBA G League’s #1 scouting event of the year is just two days away. The Painted Lines will be in Vegas covering all the major storylines of the week. The biggest change for this year’s event is the $100,000 prize for players on the winning team.

Per the NBA G League website, “Under the new tournament format, teams will be ranked 1-28 based on their records through the first 12 regular season games of the season. The top four ranked teams will be placed into the Championship Bracket while the remaining 24 teams will be placed into six four-team brackets. All games at the Winter Showcase will continue to count toward regular season records.”

Brief History of the G League

To understand how we got here, we have to understand where and how it started. The league started with 8 teams, until NBA commissioner David Stern expanded the NBA D-League to fifteen teams with the goal to turn it into a minor league farm system. As of today, the league has grown into 28 teams that are either single-affiliated or owned by an NBA team.

In 2017-18, Gatorade became the title sponsor of the D-League, and it was then renamed the NBA G League.
The goal was to keep our players here in the States instead of traveling abroad to play professionally. The NBL in Australia, China, and other places are paying top players 6 figures and more.

The NBA G League pay has increased over the years. Today, players who sign directly with the minor league team are making a base salary of $7,000 per month or $35,000 per season which is five-months. It changes when you sign as a two-way player, as well as if and when you get called up to an NBA team.

What’s at stake this weekend?

Each player is looking to earn a 2-way, 10-day, and/or NBA contract. To get that, each player will have to play out of their minds for four days. They will have to sacrifice everything for four days, their blood, sweat, and tears.

On the other side, you have every major club team overseas watching the games, looking to sign the best players after the season. So if someone plays out of their mind, many more doors could open for them.

Message to the Players

Yes, this could be life changing. It’s up to YOU! How bad do you really want it?

A good friend of mine, former NBA player, now analyst Dennis Scott aka Sideline Shorty, once told me something that has stuck with me. “To make it to the league, you have to either be great at one thing or very good at everything.” For him, it was being a 3-point marksman.

That conversation took place over 25 years ago, and I still use what he said in speeches all over the country.

My message to all the future stars is this… Play out of your mind. Show the world what you do best. If you rebound, REBOUND. If you score, SCORE. If you set picks, SET PICKS. If you pass, PASS. Just be a GREAT teammate and the hardest worker in the building. Don’t Get Out Worked!