On Sunday night, twenty-four of the best basketball players in the world competed under the bright lights of the NBA's greatest stage during the 2014 All-Star Game in New Orleans.
Though it hasn't happened yet, sooner or later, a D-League alumni will become an NBA All-Star. In recent years, the league's Saturday night of All-Star Weekend has featured an array of notable minor league alumni competing in the various skill, shooting, and dunk competitions. This makes sense, as some of the more successful NBADL alums ultimately break into The Association after proving their niche in the big league.
Still, as the NBA continues to utilize the D-League to develop and nurture its up and coming young guns, there will indeed be those who rise up afterwards as NBA All-Stars. This could be someone who eventually earns a call-up, or simply an NBA player who was previously on assignment. Either way, the increased relevancy of the D-League makes this a strong possibility in the years to come.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Roy Hibbert: "If I left after my freshman year, I wouldn't have gotten drafted. Probably couldn't deal with being in the D-League."</p>— The Traveling Crab (@crabdribbles) <a href="https://twitter.com/crabdribbles/statuses/435473572996194304">February 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Such a comment is still interesting to hear. It proves the awareness level of players, with regard to the different alternatives available to them, be it the D-League, going overseas, etc.
Whereas the NBADL is increasingly becoming, not only a suitable, but a common landing spot for those prospects who choose to leave school early or forgo it completely, Hibbert is an advocate for playing out all four years of college ball (and education, of course) before entering the NBA. He added that going through such motions helped him become the player he is today. Kudos to him.