Those who labeled Phoenix Suns rookie Earl Clark's three-game assignment to D-League affiliate Iowa as a demotion last week have raised the ire of Suns General Manager Steve Kerr.
"It's stupid," Kerr said. "I don't know why people look at it that way. I'm hopeful that someday, after it's collectively bargained, you'd be able to send a guy down on an injury stint, like Major League Baseball."
Those were the comments Kerr gave to Suns beat writer Paul Coro regarding Clark's most recent assignment.
I'd like to add more to it, but I have to agree with the general premise - looking at an assignment to the D-League simply as a demotion is as stupid as thinking that at least some D-League players don't deserve to be in the NBA.
Joey Dorsey's game improved while on assignment with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Bill Walker's looked good with the Knicks after playing in the D-League the past two seasons, Alexis Ajinca looked great with the Maine Red Claws before suffering a season-ending injury, Malik Hairston recently had a great game for the Spurs after spending some time with the Austin Toros this season and even Hasheem Thabeet's recent play has made Matt Moore look bad following Thabeet's stint with the Dakota Wizards.
Suffice to say, I don't think Kerr is the only one that doesn't think of D-League assignments as a demotion, but rather a chance to play and, possibly, even develop. After looking at that list, I wonder if more NBA decision makers wouldn't be wise to assign their player to the D-League, if even just for a short stint.