Destination NBA: A G League Odyssey Ending Explained – Do these players get to the NBA?

Destination NBA Plot Summary

Destination NBA: A G-League Odyssey is a new documentary on Amazon Prime about the journey of five young athletes in the NBA’s minor league, the G League. It follows their trials and tribulations throughout a season. Some are aging pros who have barely had the chance to make it into the big-time. Others are guaranteed draft picks for the NBA, and some are just trying to get back into the league.

What is the G League?

Like all sports, there are the major and minor leagues. In most sports, like the NBA and MLB, every major team has a minor league team affiliated with it. In the NBA, that is the G League. Usually, the city that the minor league team plays in is close to where the major league team is. Case in point, one of the characters the movie follows is Denzel Valentine, who plays for the Maine Celtics; a minor league franchise that is under the umbrella of the Boston Celtics.

Who are the basketball players in Destination NBA?

The film follows five players in different phases of their careers. As mentioned above, Denzel Valentine was a 2015 NBA prospect drafted out of Michigan State by the Chicago Bulls. Over the years of his short NBA career, he eventually gets set down to play in the G League to develop his skills. His goal before it’s too late is to make it back in the NBA. 

Gabe York is a 29-year-old basketball player for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the minor league team of the Indiana Pacers. 29 is an old age in the NBA. That kind of age means you’re a veteran. Gabe conducts himself like a veteran but has yet to get a chance in the pros. 

Scoot Henderson is a kid; he is a prospect out of high school who plays for a few years in the minors until he enters the draft in hopes of being picked up by the pros.

Mason Jones is a twenty-four-year-old basketball player playing in Mexico City for the Capitanes. He is a player with a lot of buzz around him who could be picked up by the pros. 

Lastly, there is Ryan Turell, a Division 3 college prospect who is Orthodox Jewish. His game play has gotten him a lot of praise and his following due to his beliefs has made him a hero in the Jewish community.

What happens to these players in the end?

All these players have a sort of character arc to their journey through the highs and lows of professional basketball. They are all trying to achieve the same goal of getting out of the G League and into the NBA. Some get in; others have work to do.

Mason Jones seems like a player with a huge chip on his shoulder. He is highly skilled and was a well-known NCAA star at Arkansas. Once in the G League, there was a ton of buzz around him, but injuries plagued him. He suffers what seems to be a season-ending injury right when there’s potential to get called up to the pros. Mason hopes for success in the following season.

We leave Denzel Valentine and Ryan Turell in very much the same way. Their stars are rising, but no call has happened just yet to come up to the big leagues. Ryan hopes his skills will get him into the NBA and help shine a light on the idea of him being the first Orthodox Jew in the NBA. Denzel just has a hunger to get back into the NBA because he had a taste of it early on in his career. The fact that he isn’t in the pros plagues him.

Gabe York has had a lot of close calls with getting into the league. We learn he had been given a 10-day contract with the Orlando Magic a few years prior but failed a COVID test upon his arrival at team facilities.

He learns that at the end of the G League season that he’s been given an offer for a 10-day contract in the NBA with parent team, the Indiana Pacers.

Lastly, Scoot Henderson, one of the biggest prospects in the G League because of his skills on the court, gets drafted into the NBA. Earlier this summer, the Portland Trailblazers drafted Scoot Henderson. 

Destination NBA accomplishes one thing really well. It shows you the ups and downs these guys have to deal with on a regular basis. They are not millionaires; most of them live in one-or two-bedroom apartments and take the bus to practice. But their drive to succeed at what they love to do is very prevalent in their interviews. Even if none of them ever achieves the status of one of the greats. They’re still a few of maybe a thousand of the best people to play professional basketball in America.


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