by Brett Edwards
I was watching the NBA channel on DirecTV over the weekend, and caught the half hour extravaganza which takes you around the D-League, which is the NBA's "Development" league for players that can't quite make it to the end of the bench in the NBA. There are many things that are both funny and wrong with this league, here are some of them in no particular order:
- The D-League has the best team nickname in the history of sports. The Rimrockers?! Is Arkansas, where this team plays, a training ground for players to practice their off-the-court skills with local groupies-to-be? Even the logo could be interpreted as something involving another kind of rim. Freaking hilarious.
- The team names and uniforms are verrrry WNBA-like. Some of the other team names include the Dazzle, Flame, and 66ers. Additionally, it seems the D-League ran out of money for name creativity, because two of the teams are named the Flyers and the Patriots. Come on guys, there are only 8 teams in the league, do you really have to steal names from other sports? And the WNBA style red white and blue ball needs to go. And check out this picture of Smush Parker from a couple years ago, I never knew they let him play in the WNBA!
- Absolutely no one goes to these games. And I don't mean WNBA no one, I mean no one. All of the games take place in literally empty arenas. The documented attendance for yesterday's Rimrockers (still laughing) vs. Dazzle game was 464. That had to include players and arena workers. It makes the highlights look ridiculous, like you're watching a practice with referees or something. Do they play their games at 9am on weekdays?
- Each D-League team has 3 or 4 NBA "affiliates" assigned to it. Meaning that these NBA teams have to share the minor league franchise, and that's where they send players for development. Dallas and the Lakers share the same team (The Fort Worth Flyers), can you actually see them working together to develop players? Neither can I.
Overall, D Stern has a lot of work to do if this league is to work as a true developmental minor league for the NBA. This is probably the first and last time you will hear anything about it, unless Arkansas were to change its name to something like the Cousinlovers, which based on the current teams doesn't seem like much of a stretch.