We all remember Jeremy Lin breaking out last season, as the Harvard grad practically came out of nowhere to take the league by storm and become a household name. Though many were in awe of him due to his undrafted status, what most people don't know is that a lot of Lin's success can be attributed to his time in the NBA Development League, or D-League.
For those readers who are just getting into pro basketball, the D-League is for basketball what the minor leagues are for baseball, where rookies who aren't quite yet ready for the big show can fine-tune their skills in the necessary areas before being called back up to the professional ranks.
That all being said, some of the rookies from the 2012 draft still have a lot of work to do before they take their first step into an NBA regular season game. By spending time in the D-League, they can match themselves up with equally talented players before eventually improving to the point where they are on a new level and can compete with perennial All-Stars.
In doing so, they could prevent fans and critics from labeling them as busts just because they don't start producing top numbers immediately.
For a small handful of 2012-13 rookies, however, a trip to the D-League isn't at all a bump in the road on their paths to stardom. Rather, it is an absolute necessity.