The NBA introduced the D-League in 2001 with only eight teams. It wasn’t until 2005 where former NBA Commissioner David Stern invested the resources to make the D-League a true minor league system, expanding it to 15 teams. Fast forward to 2017 and the league features 22 teams, each affiliated with a NBA organization. Beginning in the 2017-2018 season, the NBA announced the alliance will be renamed to the NBA Gatorade League.
Welcome to the NBA G-League!
— NBA (@NBA) February 14, 2017
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum says the agreement will allow the “G-League” to make use of Gatorade’s Sports Science Institute. Tatum also said the league will use the institute’s “sports science expertise and knowledge to enhance player performance in our game” through nutrition, training and other advances.
The G-League contains young players looking for their chance to get a crack at the NBA, and veterans who may have played in the NBA at one time and are working toward another look to play with the world’s best. Thirty-three percent of the NBA player pool has minor league experience.