Shattered Dreams: My D-League Tryout
This is why bloggers shouldn’t be allowed to try out for the D-League.
I made it less than 30 minutes into my tryout before I pulled up limping and had to call it a day; it was barely enough time to work up a sweat.
Even though the tryout didn’t go as planned, it was a great experience as the coaching staff for the Idaho Stampede did a great job of making me feel welcome. Even as I was hobbled on the sidelines, the coaching staff made their way over to check on my status and crack some jokes to lift my spirits.
Before the tryouts began I had the pleasure of chatting with assistant coach Randy Livingston. After playing 10 years in the NBA, he decided to hang up his jersey for the final time after last season and has moved a couple seats down the bench as an assistant coach this season.
Livingston talked with me about his playing career in the NBA, why he decided to pursue a career coaching and why he chose the D-League over the NCAA:
I also had the pleasure of recording an interview with Bryan Gates. Unless you’re a basketball enthusiast, you probably don’t know his name which is a shame because his team enjoyed an 18 game win streak last season and he has been named Coach of the Year in the D-League the past two seasons. Coach Gates has a vast amount of basketball knowledge and it was a pleasure taking part in – perhaps observe would be a more accurate assessment – one of his tryouts. When’s some NBA team going to give him a call up?
I talked with Coach Gates about what the D-League means to him, why he’s holding tryouts in Toronto and a couple of other topics:
Things were going smoothly and I was having a blast until disaster struck:
To prove that I actually suited up for this tryout, I’ve included 10-minutes worth of shell drills the coaching staff ran the players through. If you’re a young player trying to learn something new, these drills are a great things to incorporate into your training.
A big thank you goes out to the Idaho Stampede for letting me live out a dream. Growing up I always dreamed about playing out for a professional basketball team, but being vertically challenged and having the speed of a turtle I never thought I’d even have the opportunity to tryout. Thanks to the great coaching staff on the Stampede I had a blast trying out for the D-League despite my limited time on the hardwood.
I also want to thank Jay Watt for being the man behind the camera today. He volunteered his day to drive into the city with me and sit on the sidelines recording what went down while I had fun taking parts in drills and scrimmages.
For those of you concerned with how my leg is doing, my foot is now a nice shade of royal blue but I’m now able to walk with only a mild Snoop Dogg strut. With some more icing each night after work and proper stretching I’m hoping to run in the Toronto Zoo 5 km race next weekend.