Life in the G
Minor League Basketball and the Relentless Pursuit of the NBA
by Alex Squadron
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Pub Date 01 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2023
Life in the G League is far from glamorous. Players make enormous sacrifices and work unimaginable hours in the hope that someone in the NBA will give them a chance. To this day, very few fans—even the most passionate followers of the NBA—know much about the G League. In the fall of 2021, the Birmingham Squadron granted author Alex Squadron complete access to the team to capture the experience of playing in the league.
That year, with hundreds of NBA players sidelined by the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, the G League saw a record number of call-ups. Sports Illustrated labeled it “the year of the NBA replacement player.” Many of those players stayed in the NBA, earning life-changing contracts and taking on significant roles for their new teams. In addition to recounting the organization’s inaugural season, Squadron’s access to the Birmingham Squadron enabled him to document the incredible journeys of G League players and to tell the larger story of life in the G. This is the inspiring tale of an unforgettable season and the emotional roller coaster for everyone involved in the chase for an NBA dream.
“Life in the G is an oft-gritty, oft-surprising, always engrossing love letter not simply to basketball but to those scratching and clawing to make the League. Alex Squadron has written his dream book, and the passion drips from every page. Bravo.”—Jeff Pearlman, New York Times best-selling author of The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson
“A fascinating and well-reported look at the ups and downs of life in the G League and the everyday struggles of players reaching for their dream. Highly recommended!”—Paul Fichtenbaum, chief content officer of The Athletic
“Finally, a book that captures the struggle, the yearning, the grind of pursuing an NBA dream. It might take luck to make the big leagues, but there’s nothing lucky about Alex Squadron’s soulful, deeply reported book. He has taken us to the gym, to the heartbreak, and, to the very core of what it means to dream.”—Mirin Fader, New York Times best-selling author of Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP
“Squadron provides a necessary deep dive beneath the glitz and glam of major professional sports to reveal the pure human pursuit of happiness and dream chasing that underscores the modern NBA.”—Jake Fischer, author of Built to Lose: How the NBA’s Tanking Era Changed the League Forever
“Unlike the oft-romanticized world of Minor League Baseball, the professional basketball played below the NBA in this country is under-covered and totally misunderstood. With deft reporting and a humane approach that makes you care about the characters, Alex Squadron’s Life in the G brings you inside the NBA G League and teaches what it really takes for many NBA players to make it to the ‘Association.’”—Ben Osborne, author of The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island