The NBA Developmental League has gone through a number of makeovers and iterations since its inception in the 2001-02 season. It was originally known as the NBDL and for years now has been known as and referred to as the D-League. The D-League had a nice ring to it and was an accurate descriptor, a place where D-level and developmental NBA talent could either cut their teeth or attempt to improve aspects of their game to garner an opportunity with an NBA franchise.
Now because of yet another naming partnership (the same reason why we have NBA arenas called the Smoothie King Arena or the KFC Yum (Center for the University of Louisville) with Gatorade, the league will now be known as the G-League.
Welcome to the NBA G-League!
— NBA (@NBA) February 14, 2017
Allow the jokes to ensue. Although it is a tacky and silly change to the name of the developmental league, the partnership should be able to pump more money into the league as it transitions into paying players larger salaries (they used to make anywhere from $13,000 to $25,000 per season). It will transition the league into more of a legitimate NBA minor league with more and more teams having G-League affiliates that they pull from for open roster spots.
While the name is silly, the NBA’s developmental league is really progressing more than it has in its 16 year existence. The hope is that it will be a legitimate farm system for the NBA soon, where young players learn how to be professionals and gain experience before being thrown into the NBA fire if they are not emotionally and quite physically ready.