Starting next season, the NBA Development League will officially become the NBA Gatorade League, or G-League for short. This is part of a multi-year partnership between the NBA and Gatorade, and the first time that an American professional sports league has claimed and embraced an entitlement partner.
A merged logo between the NBA and Gatorade will be placed on all merchandise, including game balls, team jerseys, on-court labels, and any digital media. Gatorade is one of the founders, as well as a long-time partner of the NBA D-League, so it has been a long time coming.
In the long run, however, this move and name change makes sense. The NBA D-League was founded with the purpose of developing potential NBA talent. The Gatorade Sports Science Institute has been dedicated to improving an athlete’s performance and recovery from injuries.Therefore, the current plan is to continue with both goals in mind, as well as incorporating new technologies to upgrade athlete’s physical ability and nutrition.
Quite frankly, this can only benefit the NBA as a whole. Gatorade has always been invested in the D-League, especially with their featured “Call-Up” section displaying the players that receive contracts from NBA teams. Also, the D-League has been advertised as the premier minor league of the NBA, which is the most prominent and highest paying league in the world. This can only encourage players to become better at their craft and achieve that coveted roster spot in the NBA.
The roster spot can be achieved easier now that teams can have two “two way” players. This will allow players to have limited experiences in the NBA, while spending most of the their time in the D-League developing their skills. Not only does this allow for the player to gain valuable game reps with true professionals, but it allows for the parent NBA team to analyze that player’s progress to see if they can contribute and assist the team in winning games.
By Joshua Hamer