Earlier this week, Yahoo! Sports reported that the D-League'e Vice President of Basketball Operations, Chris Alpert, will be parting ways with the NBA's minor league.
Should such a development proceed as expected, the NBADL will move on without Alpert, who has been around since the league's inception back in 2001; first serving in a smaller capacity before moving on up to Vice President not long after that.
It goes without saying that any employee of a given organization who has been around for fourteen years, let alone someone of Alpert's authority, would assumedly leave his/her fingerprints all over. When it comes to the D-League, that's a well deserved compliment for Alpert.
Many with familiarity of the league, ranging from players, coaches, agents, scouts, and others, overwhelmingly credit Alpert with heading up the minor league's progress and helping it become what it truly is today. As the NBADL heads into the 2015-16 season with nineteen teams, all of whom are now affiliated with a single NBA franchise, it's not only easy to see how far the league has come over the years, but also the direction it's steadily going in as well.
Alpert has been a huge part of that. On a personal note, he has seemingly grown and developed relationships ranging all over across both the NBA and D-League. As far as some his duties behind the scenes, Alpert has overseen a variety of components, including potential rule changes & experiments, equipment and arena regulations, the development of league officials/referees, disciplinary actions, and much more.
What's more, however, perhaps Alpert's biggest impact on the league has been ushering in much of the D-League's personnel, both current players and notable alumni included. Because minor league players ultimately need to sign contracts with the league, rather than individual teams, it's constantly been Alpert and his team who are responsible for recruiting, scouting, researching, and also vetting potential players. As potential players look to break into the NBADL, they're often required to meet and/or speak with (and subsequently impress, of course) Alpert to start things off.
Many prospects (both those of whom have gone on to play in the D-League, and also those who have previously been turned down as well) praised Alpert for his professionalism, support, encouragement, patience, and advice when discussing his impact with RidiciulousUpside.com.
D-League employees both on league-wide and individual team levels often have the opportunity to learn a lot, attacking and/or handling different components of both basketball and business. It's a great learning opportunity, because they have the chance to wear many hats. What this also seemingly means is that Alpert, of all people, had to carry a great deal of responsibility over the years.
Given the advances the league has made, however, it's safe to say he's been able to do a very good job of juggling all of it. The D-League will certainly miss efforts, but also assumedly be ready to continue chugging along at the same level of quality progress as others step up and shoulder the load instead.