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Andre Iguodala And Evan Turner Shed Light on NIL Deals Impacting G League Ignite’s Future

Keshav Kumar Keshu

Andre Iguodala And Evan Turner Shed Light on NIL Deals Impacting G League Ignite's Future

On the 21st of March, NBA Commissioner – Adam Silver announced the closure of the NBA G League team – Ignite. Ignite was a program incorporated to develop young basketball talent, who wanted to gain professional experience and earn money before entering the NBA. Setup in 2020, it was an alternate route for basketball players to enter the league without enrolling in colleges. However, four years into the program, it has become obsolete and the primary reason is NIL.

Former NBA player and Acting Executive Director of the NBPA – Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner, discussed the recent announcement on their Podcast – ‘Point Forward‘. Iguodala, Before giving his opinion, provided details on the news and said, “NBA has decided to discontinue the G League Ignite team following this season, bringing an end to the developmental program which was established in 2020.” He also mentioned that the NBA was trying to fill a void in the market through the program but is now looking to get involved with the players at an earlier stage.

The four-time NBA champion further talked about the road ahead for the league to develop young talent and said, “I think that speaks to where the NBA is headed next. It basically spoke towards [the fact that] they wanna start the relationship or familiarity with players at an earlier age. I know that Nike has an EYBL high-school circuit, which is in-season, not just the summer now. So, maybe there is something there, with Nike being a partner of the NBA and NBPA as an official jersey provider.” Iguodala mentioned the various top prospects that have entered the NBA through the Ignite team. Jonathan Kuminga, Jalen Green, Dyson Daniels, and the latest draft pick – Scoot Henderson are some of the biggest names on the list.

The 2015 Finals MVP talked about the various reasons attributed to the NBA taking this step, including the NIL. NIL stands for Name, Image, and Likness and is a rule incorporated by the NCAA that allows college athletes to make money through endorsements, publicity, and brand deals. Iguodala says, “Before he felt there was a hole in the marketplace they were trying to fill and that marketplace is essentially NIL now. There are so many people trying to get into the marketplace. Whether it’s the G-League, whether it’s NIL or Overtime Elite.”

He also talked about players like Brandon Jennings and LaMelo Ball going overseas to develop before declaring for the NBA as they could start earning during the process. However, now with NIL coming into place, the chances players take the above route would be less and would help retain talent in the country.

Iguodala is completely on the money with his take on the matter. After all, the one glaring weakness that the college route had was the fact that athletes couldn’t earn money, despite earning the institute millions from fans looking to watch them play. However, now that the NCAA has ruled that the players can earn money through deals with different brands, the landscape of what route to take has shifted squarely in colleges’ favor. And unless the other options can come up with a solution soon, this is very unlikley to change for the foreseeable future.

Adam Silver talks about shutting down ‘Ignite’


During the All-Star Weekend in February, Adam Silver addressed the state of the G-League Ignite program. He said the following, as per Yahoo Sports,

“Players who didn’t want to be one-and-done players because they felt it was unfair and they wanted the ability not just to earn a living playing basketball but to do commercial deals that weren’t available to them at college, to hire professional agents, an opportunity that wasn’t available to them at college, they now — all of those same opportunities have become available to them.”

One month later, the league announced the end of the team after this season.

In a statement released on the opening day of March Madness, the league stated – “The decision to end the program comes amid the changing basketball landscape, including the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy and the advent of collectives and the transfer portal.”

With the NIL policy being implemented in the NCAA, players need not skip college to earn money. Through some well-defined rules, an opportunity to make money is now available to the athletes by the association. The Commissioner, wary of the fact, coupled with the Ignite team’s inability to compete with the professional players in the G-League, forced his hand to shut down the program.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Keshav Kumar Keshu

Keshav Kumar Keshu


An NBA journalist for The SportsRush, Keshav is a basketball fanatic and has been since the age of 10 when he first got introduced to the game. Since then, his love for the game has increased exponentially to the point its become an obsessive compulsion. He has been diligently following the NBA for more than a decade now and is a huge Golden State Warriors fan. Keshav has written over 250+ articles about the NBA.

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