The NBA G League - Why Both Casual and Die-Hard Fans Will Love It

BY: Dan Delagrange |Oct 5, 2017

"Why would I watch the minor-league version of the NBA?"

Even as a self-described basketball nerd, this is the question I asked myself before I knew about the NBA G League (formerly known as the NBA D League, with the "D" standing for "Developmental"; the new "G" is a nod to a new partnership with Gatorade.). As I learned more, I discovered that the G League is a hoops geek's heaven, and even if you're not a basketball junkie, you'll still have a great time at a game. Here's why.

The G League boasts explosive, intriguing offense.

Why the Casual Fan Will Love It

Even I can admit it: watching two teams exchange bricks in a game can get old after a while. That's why casual fans will love the G League: even an average-scoring game is an offensive inferno. In the 2016-17 season, G League teams put up an average of 109 points per game. That's 3.4 more than their counterparts in the NBA scored.

Why the Hoops Geek Will Love It

The G League has those who crave more than just a scoring bonanza covered, too. NBA franchises align their playbooks with their G League squads, using the smaller stage to experiment with plays and techniques before using them themselves. So if you're looking to see what new small-ball wrinkles the Golden State Warriors might be installing over the next few months, a Santa Cruz Warriors G League game is the way to do it.

Future (and present!) NBA stars play in the G League.

Why the Casual Fan Will Love It

If you're just getting into pro basketball, knowing you could be watching a handful of players blossoming into future NBA All-Stars is about as rewarding a basketball experience as it gets. You can say you were there from the beginning!

Why the Hoops Geek Will Love It

Rudy Gobert. CJ McCollum. Hassan Whiteside. Danny Green. Along with being bonafide NBA stars right now, each of these guys also has NBA D League/G League experience. Watching players of this caliber in the G League will give die-hard hoops fans a cool comparison to draw from once they see those players taking on the elite talents of the NBA.

Did You Know? Last season, 44% of NBA players boasted G League experience—an all-time high.

The G League is a laboratory for new rules.

Why the Casual Fan Will Love It

If the NBA has an idea for a rule change, it tests that change in the G League first. For the casual fan, this means you're all but forced to get more involved in the intricacies of the game, noticing how the tweaks on things like coaches' challenges and timeouts affect what happens the rest of the way.

Why the Hoops Geek Will Love It

You know how the last couple minutes of an NBA game can get painfully slowed down with free throws being attempted by guys who aren't very good at them? You can thank the G League for putting the NBA on the right track to speed up (or even eliminate) that part of the game. In the 2014-15 season, the G League put rules in place to dissuade teams from constantly fouling the opposing team's worst free-throw shooter away from the ball. The NBA followed suit in 2016-17. The takeaway here? G League games give you a preview of a better, faster brand of future NBA basketball.

Did You Know? Since its 2001 launch, the G League has grown from 8 teams to 26—nearly one for every NBA team.

The G League boasts wallet-friendly prices and calendar-friendly schedules.

Why the Casual Fan Will Love It

Not only are G League tickets affordable (many can be had for less than $15 a pop), but the games are also easy to get to. Most take place on weekends, making them easy events to fit into a packed weekly schedule.

Why the Hoops Geek Will Love It

See above. Everybody—from superfans to newbies—loves cheap basketball tickets and weekend nights out.