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Does the NBA Have Open Tryouts?

Does the NBA Have Open Tryouts?

Does the NBA Have Open Tryouts?

As a casual fan of the NBA, there have been moments in my life where I’ve wondered if the NBA has open tryouts and whether or not I would be able to try out for a local NBA team. 

I mean, sure I’m not the best player ever, but sometimes I do wonder if, maybe with a little bit more effort, I’d be able to qualify for the NBA.

Below, we’re going to review whether or not the NBA has open tryouts and how you can take your shot at joining the best basketball league in the world.

What is an Open Try Out?

Before we get into whether or not the NBA has open tryouts, it is important to understand what an open try out is.  Put simply, an open try out is a practice held by any athletic organization, where members of the public are invited to join.

An open try out is generally available to the public, under certain rules and requirements.  For instance, an NCAA Men’s Basketball team holding open tryouts may only be available to men who are successfully registered at that university or college.

Why do Athletic Team’s Hold Open Tryouts?

Generally, an athletic team will hold open tryouts to encourage members of the public to try out for the team.  Holding open tryouts is, many times, a great way to encourage members of the public to try out for the team and may also be a great way for teams to find hidden talent.

What is meant by this, is that by holding an open try out, a team may attract a player or athlete of a high caliber,   who simply may not have tried out for the team through more traditional means.  In addition, by holding open tryouts, teams are able to ensure that their current roster of players are the best available.

Lastly, by holding open tryouts, teams are given an opportunity to gauge the abilities of non-recruited athletes.  This open try out can provide individual players and athletes a great, one-time opportunity to showcase their abilities and talents.

Does the NBA Have Open Tryouts?

Unfortunately, the National Basketball Association does not hold open tryouts.  Due to the sheer volume of interest, NBA teams would be unable to handle the influx of participants and athletes attempting to try out for the team.

Rather, the NBA G-League does hold open tryouts.  Making it to an NBA G-League team would be your single best shot at joining an NBA team, assuming you were not drafted directly out of college or through the draft.

What is the NBA G-League?

The NBA G-League is the NBA’s official minor league.  It is the league where players, coaches, and referees can prepare for the NBA, while simultaneously acting as the NBA’s league research and development laboratory.

The NBA G-League features 29 teams, with 28 of those teams being directly affiliated with an NBA league franchise.

The NBA G-League began operations in the 2001-2002 season.  The league plays from a 5–game schedule and the games are aired on the ESPN Networks, NBA TV, and Twitch.  From the current roster of official NBA players, nearly 45% of players on opening night had some NBA G-League experience.

In fact, some NBA greats to play in the NBA G-League include Eric Bledsoe, Rudy Gobert, Reggie Jackson, and Clint Capela.

How Much Does It Cost to Try Out at an NBA G-League Tryouts?

Generally, there is a $300 fee to try out at an NBA G-League tryouts event.  This figure, while somewhat substantial, is meant to limit the total number of tryouts and to ensure that no individual from the public trys-out simply as a joke.

In addition to the one-time fee, interested members of the public must sign appropriate medical consent, registration, and release forms.  These are standard forms and simply remove liability in case of injury from the G-League.

What Happens at an NBA G-League Try Out?

As there will be many participants at an NBA G-League try out event, you shouldn’t expect to get too much court time.  However, the tryouts will begin with a simple introduction by the head coach and the coaching staff.  From there, they will instruct the athletes to complete simple drills on the court to assess the playing levels of each player.

Once completed, members of the coaching staff will divvy up players into certain teams.  Each team will play scrimmage for approximately fifteen minutes, where you will be given a unique opportunity to showcase your talents and abilities.

How to Prepare for an NBA G-League Try Out?

Simply stated, preparing for an NBA G-League try out will consist of preparing for a high-stakes game.  If you perform well at the G-League, try out event, there is a good possibility that you will be invited for additional tryouts and practices.

To prepare, you should ensure that your basketball fundamental skills are solid.  You should also ensure that you practice on your shooting, dribbling, and passing skills.  While on the court, you should look to be a team player and a play maker, looking to make the open pass and set solid screens and cuts to the basket.

In addition, as you will want to make a mark with only a limited amount of time, it is worthwhile to hustle on every offensive and defensive play.  Be sure to play to your absolute best abilities and to be noticed by the coaches and staff.

When attending an NBA G-League try out event, be sure to dress professionally and as an NBA player would.  Arrive early and be sure to drink copious amounts of water and sports drinks to avoid cramping and dehydration.

What Happens Next?

If you do well at an NBA G-League try out, you will likely receive a call from the coaching staff.  While you may not be offered a position on the team immediately, the coaching staff may request you visit for additional practice sessions and opportunities.   

At these additional practice sessions, you will be given further opportunities to showcase your talents and abilities.  Under the assumption that you perform well, you will likely be invited to join the team.  This will be your first step to joining and being picked-up by an official NBA team.

Lastly, if you are selected to join an NBA G-League team, you will be offered a 5-month salary of $125,000.  Definitely not chump change.