The NBA is a pretty elite fraternity. Unless you've either been drafted or already have "NBA" listed somewhere on your résumé, there's a pretty good chance that you're not going to be able to go from dominating noonball at the local YMCA straight to signing a contract to play basketball in the best league in the world.
If a player is able to stand out at an open D-League tryout, however, he could be altogether closer at making the transition from rec league legend to NBA
legend training camp invitee -- and, after that, anything could happen.
Former Ridiculous Upside contributor Jon L did a quick series on some of the players that made the D-League via an open tryout a couple of years ago (part one, part two). Since that was written, players have continued to find their way on to NBA Development League rosters throughout the country following success showings at team's local tryouts.
Lucky for your, Mr. Prospect looking at making it to the NBA by way of its official development league, there are quite a few open tryouts happening over the course of the next month. I recently caught up with Will Voigt, head coach of the Bakersfield Jam, to find out what might make his team's tryouts stand out above the rest.
The Jam have had two players go from open tryouts to making the team's opening day roster in Rodney Webb during the 2009-10 season and John Bryant last year. With Voigt and his crew hosting tryouts from Phoenix to Bakersfield to Toronto next month, the third-year D-League head coach is hosting to find at least one player from open tryouts again for this year's roster -- and considering his team is one of the few to host two-day tryouts, there's a better chance that the Jam find a diamond in the rough with the additional scouting time.
"We are one of the few D-League teams that spends two days instead of one evaluating the players," Voigt told Ridiculous Upside. "We know that these guys have paid a lot of money to be there and we want them to have the most rewarding experience possible."
Voigt also noted that he, along with his staff, will take the time to talk to each player about what they did -- and didn't -- do well while at the workout.
"We have always taken pride in making our camps about more than trying out for the team," Voigt said. "Each player will be given specific feedback on what they need to develop."
A complete listing of dates and locations to tryout for Bakersfield -- affiliated with the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors -- is located here. If unable to make the Jam tryouts, the D-League itself also has a couple of National Tryouts coming up on September 24. A list of other teams' tryouts is located here.