Former Arizona Wildcats guard Gabe York plays a lead role in a new Amazon Prime documentary depicting the journeys of NBA G League stars hoping to find a spot in the NBA.
The film, “Destination NBA: A G League Odyssey” is streaming now on Prime Video. A good portion of the film follows York’s life in the G League, where he played last season for the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Mad Ants, the affiliate of the Indiana Pacers.
York is no run-in-the-mill G Leaguer. Last season York became the first G League player named Player of the Week three times in one season since 2014-15. For the year he averaged 22.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4 assists.
There’s not much more the 30-year-old York can do at the G League level to prove his value to NBA teams, yet York remains stubbornly one level below the highest echelon of professional basketball. The desire to find a role in the NBA paired with the frustration of perpetually being told you’re not quite good or tall enough makes York’s story a captivating one to explore.
The film was produced by Religion of Sports/Ringer Films and to promote its release, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons had York on his podcast, where the former Arizona guard (2012-2016) delved into his backstory and where he sees himself at this stage of his career.
“I feel like maybe I’ve just been a year off every time I maybe had a slight opportunity I could have turned into a two-way or a training camp deal. The teams that I ended up going to summer league with or whatever needed a 4 or 5 man and so they ended up going with different players. Then the next year now we need a 1 or 2 ... and so I feel like I’ve always been a year out of my opportunity to really get two feet in.
“I feel like I’ve always had maybe a half a foot or one foot in, but no one really given me that opportunity to come to training camp and fight for a roster spot.”
York said he didn’t feel like a professional coming out of Arizona but after his third year playing overseas he made that jump.
York also shared that playing overseas felt like something he had to for financial reasons or his well being but admitted “I didn’t feel like myself playing the game of basketball.”
“These last two seasons (in the G League) and these last two two-ways, even though it’s only been seven or eight games that I’ve played, basketball felt right again.”
The whole interview is worth listening to.