In May, the Capitans hunted Nick Lagios from the Lakers organization to make him their general manager, and by September, an agreement of sorts had been reached: the Capitans would hit the road for 14 games as part of the G League’s Showcase Cup. , then play a pair of appearances in January against G League Ignite, the team for the NBA’s top prospects.
Lagios and Diaz sought a mix of players as they assembled their roster: players of Latin American descent, defending players, players with experience who could mentor younger teammates. The team tempted players with the prospect of being spotted by NBA scouts, as well as a somewhat less lucrative offer of G League salaries, which typically amount to $37,000 for an entire 50-game season. Plus, players can be a part of something new.
“This is a team that cares about winning,” said Justin Reyes, a former Division II All-American at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY, “so we all knew we had to make it work in such a short amount of time.” Will need to make sacrifices for an amount of time.”
Serratos recalled the start of training camp last month and a moment of collective joy: after so much delay and so much uncertainty, the capitans had finally come together. But his calm was loose, he said, when Tyler Davis, a 6-foot-10 power forward, went up for a dunk in the first minutes of the team’s first practice and shattered the backboard. Diaz ran to check on him.
“Tyler, you’re a monster!” Diaz told him.
While Serratos began to calculate how much it would cost to replace the backboard, there was a more immediate concern: his collection of nomads was suddenly down a hodgepodge. No more dunking.
‘Win every game’
On the morning of their game against the Austin Spurs, the Capitans were back on the bus—this time, bound for a light shootout in the arena and another opportunity to build chemistry. The team was joined by some late, including a 21-year-old point guard and Moises Andreassi, one of Mexico’s top youth players.