The nba summer league is steadily approaching as it is now less than a month away.
Such a session gives aspiring NBA players and alike youngsters a chance to strut their stuff and catch the eye of major league executives. but alas, while there may be a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel, summer league is still a big part of the routine most prospects embark on to get into the association.
With that in mind, most players participate in the summer league for free, with just a per diem to talk along the way. this concept would normally be pretty far fetched, if the annual salary of d-league players weren’t so low to begin with.
Like most minor league prospects, many D-league coaches also participate in summer league as a way to gain more exposure. Whether it’s job hunting during the week with a particular NBA affiliate, scouting for talent, or simply having related conversations with the staff in attendance about potential job opportunities, there are plenty of ways for NBA coaches to stay busy.
In many ways, these coaches often find themselves in a similar rut to most players going through the motions as they look to capitalize on the next opportunity that comes their way.
That being said, how much money do league d coaches make over the course of the season?
Earlier this week, championship-winning Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich’s coaching tree grew a little larger. Steve Hetzel, who started as assistant video coordinator with San Antonio in 2005-06, was recently hired as assistant coach to Steve Clifford with the Charlotte Hornets.
of course, hetzel spent last season leading the way as canton charge’s head coach. Under his tutelage, Canton posted a 28-22 record on the year and made the D-League playoffs.
Between his time with the spurs and his arrival in canton, coach hetzel accumulated a lot of experience at the nba level. Before joining the role, he spent four years as a player development coach with the Detroit Pistons and served as video coordinator for the Cleveland Cavaliers for three years before that.
There is certainly something to be said for rising to the challenge as a head coach in professional basketball, as it relates to bolstering your resume. It undoubtedly worked in Coach Hetzel’s favor.
Still, one has to wonder how much money is in d-league coaching. Despite having more notoriety at the minor league level as a head coach, it would be sensible to think that a staff member could make more money as a video coordinator or even in player development at the major league level.
assuming both, one would probably be right. A source tells ridiculousupside.com that no current head coach in the D-league salary is in the six figures. That said, another source suggests that Coach Hetzel was the highest-paid coach in the minor leagues last season. furthermore, his contract included an unprecedented three-year commitment. Most D-League coaches’ contracts span only one season, due to flexibility reasons for both sides. That said, like Hetzel’s, most contracts would be expected to have some sort of leniency towards an NBA clause anyway.
Participating in d-league competition has never been about money. players want exposure, experience and development, while staying as close to home as possible. These are the obvious benefits, and they certainly apply to trainers as well.
playing (or coaching, in this case) in the d league is just par for the course. it’s also a seemingly pretty smart move. The financial sacrifice one chooses to make for a year or two could benefit them immensely in the near future, so that’s undoubtedly what most people in the minor leagues seem to factor in down the road.