Battling Beyond G League – Gateway to the NBA

Published by Susan Zaro on

What do player’s in the G League all have in common? They are athlete’s whose basketball skills are way above average, and are dedicated and passionate about earning a place in the NBA.  ,” on Prime Video offers a snap shot of the life of four G League player’s fighting for a chance to grab a spot in the NBA.

This documentary presents a sobering look at the day in and day out physical/mental grind it takes to earn that shot of catapulting into the top tiers of basketball. The rewards for these player’s are not only financial but a deeper level of the honor of putting up their skills against the best in the game. Interesting side note is that, “Fifty-five percent of all player’s on end of season 2022-23 NBA rosters boasted NBA G League experience.”

The film balances a look at the player’s chances of realizing their dream of playing in the NBA and the stressors these athlete’s navigate mostly with a positive outlook/energy, humor and good will towards their competitors and team mates.  Topics of Sport Psychology relevance include:

*Finances: Player’s make tough professional decisions. Ex: Player’s are paid more in Europe but if they leave the G League scouts are more likely to focus on player’s competing in the U.S.

*Age: Where is the player on the age scale? Are they too old to continue to pursue their dream? Will teams opt for younger talent? Each year more player’s enter the draft.

*Injuries: Are a player’s injuries going to be the barrier for an NBA team to bring a player up to the NBA? 

*Mental Health: The stressors of grinding in the G League with no guarantees that a player will make it to the next level can lead to burn out. The task of maintaining belief in themselves while pursuing this dream is daily mental maintenance.  Every player faces and needs to have tools to manage doubt and dark moments of their careers. 

*Relationships: Family support and spiritual belief came across as paramount to the player’s that this documentary followed. 

The takeaway is that these men are passionate about their careers as professional basketball player’s but as one player expresses, the margins are razor thin to make it to the next level. Everyone is fighting for a spot and is there room for them at the top?

Check it out.