When you think about the NBA Developmental League you probably just think about the players that are trying to get noticed in hopes of making it to the league. But what about the coaches that get them there?
Twelve years ago Pat Delany took an internship with the Miami Heat preparing game film. After countless hours studying film and players the Heat went out on a limb and gave him his first head coaching job.
"The Heat looked upon my hard work and time that I put in over the last couple of years and gave me this opportunity. Obviously I am grateful to them to have this coaching position with this group of guys. I'm just trying to take advantage of it and make the most of it not only for myself, but for the players," Skyforce Head Coach Pat Delany said.
The D-League was created for teams to do exactly what the "D" stands for, develop players. But the NBA has noticed it also prepares coaches to make the jump to the pro ranks as well by learning how to manage a team.
"I'm much like the team as I try not to get too high or too low. I just try to get better everyday, understanding that it is a long season. I am trying to develop myself. Obviously I am learning the league, the rules, and the intricacies of this league. I'm still trying to understand how good the league is, the coaches are, and the players are. Again, I'm just trying to learn and get better while taking advantage of the opportunity," Delany said.
Over 120 players in the NBA have stemmed from the D-League as well as 19 coaches. Although Sioux Falls isn’t South Beach, Delany is content on being the face of the Force for now.
"I think we all have aspirations and goals were trying to reach throughout out careers, but right now I am in a really good place. The city of Sioux Falls and the fan base have been awesome, as well as, the Heineman family and the Skyforce. I don't think that I could ask for anything more for my career right now. Hopefully, most importantly I want to get the players better, win some games along the way, and we will see where the pieces fall," Delany said.
You can catch Delany's 12-7 Force in action Friday and Saturday night at the Pentagon. They will be wearing camouflage uniforms tomorrow night in honor of the military. They will be auctioned off to fans during the game.