The NBA Development League held its first national tryout of the season over the weekend and, while the talent on the court didn't include a lot of names your's truly was familiar with, the basketball players that paid the $150 fee were watched by plenty of talented talent evaluators.
The Los Angeles tryout was scheduled to have 20 teams with either 10 or 11 players on the roster and, while there may have been some stragglers added, the initial rosters I received didn't have any names that seemed destined for stardom (though I probably would have overlooked Dennis Horner on last year's list, too, so that may not be saying much).
However, I was rather impressed when I heard about the people that made it out to Golden Grove, Cali., to watch the prospective D-Leaguers showcase their wares.
Six D-League head coaches were in attendance including Coach of the Year Eric Musselman, Nate Bjorkgren from the Santa Cruz Wizards (?), newly-hired Duane Ticknor representing the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Bakersfield Jam head coach Will Voigt, Jay Larranaga from the Erie BayHawks and Canton Charge coach Alex Jensen.
Along with the head coaches, D-League assistants Larry Lewis (Los Angeles D-Fenders), Ira Newble (Canton Charge) and Mike Taylor (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) served as coaches for teams of the tryout players. Other coaches scheduled to be in attendance were NBA veterans Olden Polynice, Gary Trent and Sean Rooks.
Additional personnel in attendance included D-League assistant coaches Conner Henry (Los Angeles) and Chris Carrawell (Springfield Armor); general managers Jeff Potter (Fort Wayne), Glenn Carraro (Los Angeles); and former college head coaches Deane Martin (Idaho State) and Brad Greenberg (Radford) -- the latter two likely looking to latch on with a D-League team before next season.
It's a good sign to see so many teams sending their coaches out to Los Angeles to scour the talent available, both for the league and -- especially -- the players that pony up the money for the opportunity.