With the NCAA tournament starting this week, we have all seen first round games where one team looks like men playing among boys. But once you look at the competition, you start to think what will happen when they face opponents that can even the playing field?
Keith Schlosser, from Ridiculous Upside, explores this topic when he writes that NBA players that are assigned to the NBA D-League shouldn’t be eligible for D-League Awards. Citing the Austin Spurs’ Kyle Anderson along with Robert Covington (former Houston Rocket and current Philadelphia 76er) as examples of players assigned by their NBA teams who went on to earn D-League awards (February Player of the Month and last season’s Rookie of the Year respectively).
The players being assigned to the NBA are players that need floor time to fine tune their game in order to be ready to compete at the NBA level. For example, Kyle Anderson was not going to see the floor with Danny Green and Marco Belinelli in front of him on the depth chart. So time with the Austin squad is crucial to his development as a player.
“Presumedly, NBA players are better than D-Leaguers. At least, that’s what decision-makers on the big league level believes. The perception is that the players in the NBA have what it takes and are superior to those who aren’t in the league. “
While Schlosser’s idea is not without merit, excluding the NBA assigned players may actually do more harm than good. It may actually end up devaluing the award.
By keeping the competition open, it will only strengthen the case for the players who win the award.
Talent evaluators in the NBA will have knowledge that the winner performed better than all players in the league (including the assigned players).
The open competition will also help the confidence of the D-League players as well.
So Spurs’ fans, do you think NBA assigned players should be eligible for the awards?