In case you haven't heard already, the NBA's minor league system is no longer known as the "NBA Development League (D-League)." The league has taken on a fresh identity as the "NBA Gatorade League (G League)" in an attempt to rebrand itself and further enhance the product that they are putting out on the floor.
Kareem Copeland of The Associated Press provided some more details about what is coming with this rebranding:
"The NBA Development League is changing its name starting next season to the NBA Gatorade League, a deal that will include a rebranding that will affect the league logo, basketballs, jerseys, on-court signage and digital properties.
Long viewed as a proving and testing ground of sorts for the NBA, what has been known as the D-League will also get to take advantage of Gatorade's Sports Science Institute - a resource that many elite athletes, including Dwyane Wade and Cam Newton, have used in recent years for testing and evaluation of what exactly their bodies need during competition.
"This isn't about slapping a name on a league," NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said. "This is much, much deeper than that."
Tatum said this is not the first step toward a name change for the NBA, and declined to detail the length or financial terms of the deal. But he said the part of the deal including GSSI will provide "knowledge to enhance player performance in our game" through nutrition, training and other advances. Gatorade will also incorporate its most recent products and equipment throughout the league."
The bottom line is that by partnering its minor league system with Gatorade and its Sports Science Institute, the NBA will get a chance to see whether or not such a partnership is beneficial to the players and teams in the league. If such a partnership proves to be successful, there are good odds a similar type of partnership between the NBA and Gatorade will be agreed upon in a future CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).
Personally, I think this is a great move by the NBA. They are always looking for ways to improve their product and I see nothing but pure upside with this partnership. This benefits the athletes by giving them more information about how to best stay fit, this benefits the owners by putting a better product on the floor for their customers, and it benefits the fans because they'll get to see their favorite athletes perform at an even higher level.
Note: Fadeaway Friday is a weekly piece that focuses on the NBA Gatorade League.
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