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All about the D-League

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Scott Ostler recently wrote an article about sending Project O'Bryant to the D-League. I think it was a wise choice given the situation. He needs to play to develop and in the NBA, he was not getting that chance. Of course, he won't be playing nearly the same level of competition, but he'll gain some confidence and develop his talent. What's more, he's got Jim Harrick as his coach. That guy can flat out coach.  He may be a little shady off the court, but he knows basketball. So, I'm hoping that in POB's time in Bakersfield he can grow and develop to at least be Biedrins' backup next year.

Jam coach Jim Harrick has been urging the Warriors all along to assign O'Bryant to Bakersfield. When Harrick read a newspaper story about Nelson letting O'Bryant decide where he spends his rookie season, Harrick phoned the Warriors' front office and made this point: "Who's the parent?"

"I thought I could learn more by watching (while sitting on the Warriors' bench)," O'Bryant says. "I finally kind of saw the light."

In baseball, there's no stigma to being sent to the minors for more seasoning. But in the NBA, it's a new concept, and not yet wildly popular with the demotees. And O'Bryant is the first NBA lottery pick ever "assigned" to the D-League.

Be sure to check out OaktownFunk's diary, Notorious POB NBDL stat tracker for how POB is playing right now.

The article wasn't all about Project being sent down, it really shed some light on the life of a D-Leaguer and how tough it really is. Salaries top out at $24,000, you're never guaranteed a roster spot so players with injuries when they shouldn't be playing, and hopes of making the NBA are slim to none.

Contracts in the D-League are not guaranteed. Sprain an ankle, pack your bag. The first day of Jam training camp, Harrick told his players, "I'll be frank with you: None of your jobs are safe. None of 'em."

Maybe that's why when Bobbitt twists an ankle Thursday night, writhing in pain, a minute later, he is begging his way back into the game.

Thursday morning, the Jam bring in a new player, Slay. He just walked out of a seven-figure multiyear contact in Greece so he could play here and take a shot at returning to the NBA. To make room, Harrick has to cut a player, telling him gently, "Go get a job, son. You can't play in this league."

Perhaps this is the real beginning of an NBA minor league system. There are lots of young players just sitting on the benches in the NBA not getting a chance to play. Right now, I'm not sure if it's better to sit on the bench and collect DNP-CD's or play 30-35 minutes in the D-League. I think I'd like the NBA to start using the D-League as baseball uses their minor leagues. Basically, let the young guys develop there and then bring them up when they're needed or ready. We need more Kelenna Azubuike's, players who are ready to step in and contribute, and less Patrick O'Bryant's, players with no chance of seeing the court.

What do you expect from Notorious POB next year?

Also see: Patrick O'Bryant aka The Notorious P.O.B. Will Be Jammin' in the D-League