It Happened in Boise

The 2008 D-League Showcase has come and gone. If my memory serves me correct, the showcase used to be held on the weekend leading into Martin Luther King Day. This year, however, as it was news to me, it seems it was in the week preceding MLK’s birthday. This past week.

So this week, while I wasn’t looking, the NBA’s official farm system all gathered in Boise, Idaho for a little healthy competition. While there were no playoffs, the D-League teams squeezed 14 games into four days in the same arena. The showcase is designed to highlight the talent playing in the D-League and is a blocked off time period in which NBA scouts, foreign scouts and other hoops executives can get together and talk shop.

This year, recognizable names included Taurean Green of the Idaho Stampede (Portland Trail Blazers); JamesOn Curry of the Iowa Energy (Chicago Bulls); former NBA point guards Yuta Tabuse of the Anaheim Arsenal and Andre Barrett of the Bakersfield Jam; Corie Underwood (Albuquerque T-Birds & a few mentions in SLAM); Kevin Pittsnogle (U. West Virginia & Albubuerque T-Birds) and NBA veteran and “D-league Poster Boy” Randy Livingston of the Idaho Stampede.

Additionally, while looking over the D-League standings, you’ll notice that the first place teams (Austin and Los Angeles) in 2 of the 3 D-League divisions (Central, Southwest, West) are exclusive affiliates of their NBA parents clubs. The Los Angeles Defenders and Austin Toros represent the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs respectively. Hopefully the adoption of minor league hoop teams by NBA clubs will pick up and each NBA club will have it’s own farm team.

As NBA franchises are slowly beginning to understand how to utilize the farming system to their advantage, the D-League is working itself out and trying to establish itself as a premier basketball entity outside of the NBA.