The 2014 NBA D-League Showcase schedule has officially been announced, and once again the event (which was created before the 2004-2005 season) will take place in Reno, Nevada. For a third straight year, the Reno Bighorns will play host to the now five-day extravaganza, including 17 total games. The Showcase is unlike any other basketball event, as NBADL prospects have the opportunity to display their talents in front of NBA personnel while in mid-season form.
The Showcase truly is a special part of the NBA D-League season, and in terms of NBA Call-Ups, the event lends itself to the possibility of NBADL standouts earning NBA roster spots. From NBA general managers to coaches and media members, the Reno Event Center will once again be flooded with onlookers, not to mention fans who seemingly come from everywhere to support their team, or favorite player. (Note: keep an eye out for the gentleman in a red Idaho Stampede hat sitting court side, he has become a fixture at the event)
Last season, three players earned NBA Call-Ups during the event. Donald Sloan (Sioux Falls Skyforce-New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans), Mike James (Texas Legends-Dallas Mavericks) and Jarvis Varnado (Sioux Falls Skyforce-Miami HEAT) all received GATORADE Call-Ups during the Showcase. Varnado went on to win a championship ring as a member of the 2012-2013 NBA champion Miami HEAT squad.
The Showcase atmosphere enables NBA decision makers to network and form relationships, which pairs well with the schedule of games that tops out at four contests in a single day. Familiar faces such as Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, can be seen casually taking in games during the winter event. Given the fact that most of the teams and personnel stay in the surrounding hotels, there’s a relatively high chance that fans can interact with some of their favorite players and coaches. The vibe is similar to NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, just on a smaller scale of course.
Nonetheless, with the addition of the Delaware Sevens, and perhaps an even greater emphasis overall on the event, the Showcase will now feature five days of action, and allow some of the best basketball players in the world the chance to strut their stuff in the “Biggest Little City In The World.”