With the 2013 NBA D-League draft around the corner, DleagueDigest.com spoke exclusively with NBA D-League Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel Chris Alpert, to get his take on a number of topics regarding the NBADL, and the upcoming season.
On the heels of yet another successful season, the NBA D-League is poised to play a large part in the 2013-2014 NBA season, and leading into the preliminary event of the upcoming NBADL season (the 2013 NBADL draft), Alpert shed light on the increasing level of talent found in the NBADL.
“First, we’re very excited that the talent level continues to increase. We feel that we have the second best league in the world (behind the NBA). We’re happy to provide players in the NBA D-League with both exposure and development. With more teams being engaged, a culture is being created for player development.” Alpert commented.
Exposure and development has certainly taken place. Last season, there were 36 total Call-Ups, and a record breaking 184 assignments. As players get set to enter the 2013 NBA D-League draft, the commonly referred to debate of players choosing to play overseas vs. the NBADL, has become fodder once again. However, the difference between the two is quite large, and according to Alpert, who wished to speak solely on behalf of the D-League, players who opt for the NBADL simply have a unique opportunity.
“By playing in the D-League, you get to play under the NBA umbrella. Every NBA team is represented at the Showcase (an annual NBADL event), in fact, last season at the Showcase there were 80 scouts on hand. We feel the league is the fastest route to the NBA.” Alpert said.
As the NBA D-League continues to further establish itself as the NBA’s official minor league system, Alpert uses a specific set of goals for each season, and this year will be no different.
“Each year we have three main goals. Our first goal, is to develop talent for the NBA, and this involves coaches as well as players. We’ve also seen a nice trend with regard to referees, about half of the referees in the NBA have had NBA D-League experience. Our second goal is to provide fun, family friendly entertainment in each of our 17 markets. The third goal is to give back to the communities, this is a vital part of our league, and is a vital aspect of professional sports.” Alpert added.
The NBADL has developed talent for the NBA, and will proceed to do so, but will the league continue to cater to youngsters absent of college experience in pursuit of their NBA dream? Alpert believes that the NBA D-League remains an option in a sea of choices for talented basketball players.
“We’re an option, and there’s plenty of options for players out there, but we’re an option for players to develop their skills for the NBA. College might not be an option for everyone.”
Alpert continued, “It’s not just the on-court development, but we also have an off-court development program in place for players too.”
There seems to be an unmatched buzz entering the 2013-2014 NBA D-League season, and under Alpert’s guidance, the league looks to be headed for another influential and fantastic season. The popularity and attention with regard to the NBA D-League now reaches beyond just NBA executives, or hardcore NBA fans, and with the help of Alpert, the league will likely continue to broaden it’s overall impact on the entire basketball scene.