The NBA G League’s 18th season tipped off on Friday night, with seven games and a ton of excitement. As this year’s group of prospects hit the hardwood, many looked to start their journeys off on the right foot, whereas a few familiar faces aimed to pick up right where they left off.
In case you missed it, here are some headlines from Opening Night:
The Kings Christen Their New Digs: The Sacramento Kings’ relocated NBA G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, started the season off with a bang by seeing the first action in their new arena. The team suffered a defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Blue, but fans were treated to appearances by NBA legends — Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic, now part of the Kings’ front office — and the crowd was eager to throw their support behind the new local group of NBA hopefuls.
NBA Assignees Get Some Work In: 2018 NBA first-round draft pick Robert Williams highlighted a handful of NBA players who took to the floor to take advantage of early developmental opportunities on night one. He tallied a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks in Maine’s 95-82 loss to Westchester. The physical brand of basketball he played will help better prepare him for the next level.
After starring last season on a two-way deal with OKC, Daniel Hamilton dropped a triple-double (13 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists) in his debut as a Hawks assignee for the BayHawks. Pistons rookie Khyri Thomas added 22 points for the Grand Rapids Drive and his Detroit teammate Henry Ellenson added logged 19 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists despite Grand Rapids’ 125-114 loss to the Erie BayHawks. Hornets rookie Devonte’ Graham made his minor-league debut with 16 points and 11 assists for the Greensboro Swarm.
NBA Veterans Fight to Return to the Association: As the new season begins, this year’s rookie class is hopeful of making their mark. On the flip side, there are also many veteran players hoping to prove they still have plenty to offer NBA teams. BayHawks forward Terrence Jones was a true testament to such a concept, leading his team to victory with 25 points. The five-year NBA veteran muscled his way inside and drew contact while pouring in the points, sinking 7 of 9 free throws.
Fellow veteran Willie Reed, the first overall pick of the 2018 NBA G League Draft, exploded for 34 points and 14 rebounds in the Salt Lake City Stars’ 138-103 win over the Iowa Wolves. On a near-perfect night, Reed converted 15 of 17 shots and was a +42. He put on an acrobatic display of strength and athleticism while slamming home his fair share of high-flying dunks.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) November 3, 2018
A Two-Way Player Experiences Early NBA Success: Despite his two-way player status, Knicks forward Allonzo Trier is already taking the NBA stage by storm. In just his ninth game with New York, the 22-year-old danced and pranced his way to an awing 23-point performance in the Knicks’ 118-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Trier has the agility to beat defenders off the dribble and the range to back up his shot from a variety of spots on the perimeter.
Trier’s early season breakout means he may never even suit up for the Westchester Knicks. His 8 of 10 shooting performance on Friday raises the question of whether he’ll follow in the footsteps of Antonio Blakeney, a two-way player turned full-time Chicago Bull, who scored 22 points of his own in Chicago’s loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday.