We’re going to have our first look at Walnut Creek’s NBA G League Ignite team and another look at Jeremy Lin in a (Santa Cruz) Warriors uniform when the teams are in the first game of the G League season compete against each other on Wednesday.
Santa Cruz and The Ignite will play on ESPN2 at 8am when the NBA minor league begins its season, which, as in last year’s NBA postseason, will be played exclusively in the bubble in Orlando, Florida.
Warriors fans may focus on Lin – trying to make an NBA comeback – and the rest of the Santa Cruz team, which includes guards Jordan Poole and Nico Mannion and post player Alen Smailagic, but the ones most eyes across the country will be on the Ignite and its debut.
The Ignite team has been kept secret since its inception in April. Partly because of COVID-19 and partly because of a desire to allow players to develop without the distraction, Ignite drills and workouts have been closed to scouts and fans.
Coached by Brian Shaw of Oakland, a former NBA player and head coach, the Ignite is the development team that created the NBA for high-profile high school talent to skip college and make up to $ 500,000 earn while learning basketball and life skills. The Ignite features Jalen Green from Prolific Prep basketball academy in Napa and Jonathan Kuminga from New Jersey, the two top-rated preps in the 2020 class, both of whom predicted the top 5 picks in next year’s draft.
Apart from a short highlight clip from a training session, this will be the first time that Green, Kuminga and Daishen Nix from Nevada can be seen in an action, let alone in a game action.
The Ignite will also have their own former Warriors Point Guard available to fight Lin. 37-year-old Jarrett Jack is one of the few veterans hired to direct and oversee the prospects on and off the pitch.
All 18 teams in the bubble will play 15 games from Wednesday to March 6th. From there, the teams play a shortened postseason for the eight best teams, with the championship game scheduled for March 11th.
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The Ignite is technically not part of the regular G League as it was originally developed only for exhibition games. However, the Walnut Creek roster can be played post-season.
After Wednesday, the Ignite’s next game will take place on Friday at 12 noon on ESPNU against Oklahoma City Blue and ex-Stanford Star Guard Chasson Randle. The Warriors’ next game will also take place on Friday when they face the Delaware Blue Coats at 1pm. PT on ESPN. A member of the 76ers, Blue Coats members include former Cal star Ivan Rabb and short-time warrior Julian Washburn, whose father Chris was a former Golden State number 3.