Here’s a practical explanation of the upcoming NBA G League season, the “first of its kind” Ignite team, which will include Indian Princepal Singh, and what makes Princepal’s stay in the G League different from his compatriots before him.
Ignite’s Princepal Singh shoots the ball during a training session February 4 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. Courtesy NBAE / Getty Images
So far, two Indians have played in the NBA G League. On Wednesday, Princepal Singh, 20, could become third should he take over the court if the NBA G League in Florida tips into a bio-safe bubble.
Here’s a practical explanation of the upcoming NBA G League Season, the “unique” Ignite team that Princepal will belong to, and what makes Princepal’s stay in the G League different from that of his compatriots before him:
The G League is the NBA’s development league. It used to be called the D League, but has been renamed the G League for sponsorship reasons.
Given the coronavirus pandemic, this is the first year the NBA G League will be held in a bio-safe bubble. Just like last season of the NBA, the G League bubble will take place at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
Many teams have pulled out of the bubble, with only 18 teams going to speak this season. The G League will also have a new team named Ignite in the mix this season.
According to the NBA, the Ignite is “a unique program dedicated to developing the world’s best talent prospects in preparation for the NBA draft”.
Ignite is a professional avenue for young basketball players approved to compete in the NBA G League. The contract awarded to these players will help them hone their skills on the court and grow off the court before they can sign up for the NBA draft. There is currently a rule in the US that American players must wait a year after high school graduation before they can sign up for the NBA draft.
The NBA chose Ignite after talented prospects like LaMelo Ball ( the brother of New Orleans Pelicans star Lonzo Ball) and RJ Hampton had skipped college to play in the Australian league abroad. Many elite players would have followed suit in the years that followed because the NCAA did not allow college athletes to make money, and leagues abroad like that in Australia paid players lucrative amounts to skip college and instead for them to play. However, under Ignite, top players receive a decent salary and are more closely associated with Boy Scouts by all 30 teams.
Each of the 18 teams will play 15 games in the regular season. The top eight teams will then advance to a playoff with an elimination starting March 8th and ending with the NBA G final on March 11th.
Princepal Singh, a precociously talented 20-year-old from Punjab’s Gurdaspur, will be part of the Ignite team. Princepal is a 6’9 ”power forward who can also play as a center. He is a graduate of the NBA India Academy.
Yes, Satnam Singh and Amjyot Singh Gill played in the NBA G League before Princepal. Palpreet Singh was close to playing in the G League after being selected in the Long Island Nets draft. However, he has been released from the franchise.
What will be different in Princepal’s time in the G League than in Amjyot and Satnam?
As part of the out-of-court development of Ignite’s elite trainee, the league has the following training and speaking sessions held:
# Parents of NBA stars, including Quinn Cook’s mother, Chris Paul’s parents, and the parents of the Holiday brothers, spoke to the parents of Ignites Draft-eligible players to lower their expectations. In addition, Princepal and his teammates have attended sessions teaching them about aspects such as media training and branding, communication and team building, mental health, healthy relationship management and maintenance, goal setting and sleep therapy.
The original plan for Ignite was to play a few games against opponents of the G League and international teams. However, when only 17 teams committed to play in the bio-safe bubble, Ignite opened up the opportunity to become the 18th team in the mix and receive at least 15 quality match-ups. They will begin on Wednesday with a clash against the Santa Cruz Warriors led by Jeremy Lin. This means more competitive playing time than before for the young players, especially Princepal.
However, the team’s coach Brian Shaw has tried to soften expectations by saying Princepal will not get “significant minutes”.
The Ignite team is a mix of elite players like Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix, Kai Sotto, Isaiah Todd and seasoned players like Jarrett Jack, Amir Johnson and Bobby Brown. Between the three, Jack, Johnson and Brown have made 1,895 appearances in the NBA and are tasked with looking after the youngsters.
Green and Kuminga should be in the top 5 in the upcoming NBA draft.
Brian Shaw is Ignite’s trainer. In his career, he was part of five Los Angeles Lakers NBA title winning teams, three as a player (2000, 2001, 2002) and two as a coach (2009, 2010). He has also stepped onto the field with legends of the game like Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
While veteran Ignite players like Johnson and Jack Princepal have provided practical basketball tips, the Indian benefits also from meetings like financial planning, mental health and English classes.
If you are on the same team as the top rated players in the upcoming draft, the Indian will be in the spotlight too. Princepal’s teammate Green has 1.1 million followers on Instagram. His presence at Ignite, along with that of Kuminga, has already sparked great interest in the development team and should Princepal give Princepal a good measure of himself over the course of the season it could lead the teams to take a chance on the Indian / p> Shaw said that the Indian’s endurance and strength get better. “His range (got better too) – from what I saw before he arrived, he was a pretty decent indoor and mid-range player. He was able to extend his range to the three-point line as in today’s game big guys need to be able to clear the ground and also shoot three. His understanding of what we call players on a defense plan has also grown, ”Shaw said during a recent media conversation.
February 10, 2021 6:23:14 PM IST
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