The League

JBL Fantasy Basketball League is a unique fantasy basketball league that has been running in some form since 1991. As a JBL General Manager, you are in charge of a storied basketball franchise, and have to draft, sign, trade and manage your players, staff and their personalities to construct your team.

JBL is a set in a universe which also contains the NBA - think of JBL as a rival splinter league where franchises compete for the same fans and TV viewers. While similar to the NBA, JBL differs slightly in its modelling to other basketball simulations, and isn't intended on being a complete replica of the NBA, nor its rules.

When you are hired as a General Manager of a JBL team, you will take over a pre-existing roster of a storied basketball franchise and compete against 29 other human GMs for glory. JBL is a 'dynasty' league - rosters carry over from season to season. Depending on the team's you are managing, your job may be difficult or easy - your team may already be a playoff or fringe playoff team, or it could be in the middle of a rebuild. General Managers have, of course, total control over their roster: they can draft, sign and trade players, manage contract extensions and free agency, sign and fire coaches, as well make some strategic decisions about their team. It is also the GM's role to scout new players, including upcoming draft classes, to ensure your team's success.

To be a JBL General Manager requires an analytical mind, a strategic brain, an eye for talent, and most importantly, a love for basketball. While the JBL isn't for the faint-hearted due to the skill, discipline and challenge involved, hard work is rewarded with success and the league becomes extremely addictive very quickly.

No. JBL is run on a proprietary and highly complex simulation engine (called simply 'JBL Simulator') first created in 1991 and iterated periodically. There are other basketball simulators on the market which more accurately reflect the complexities of the NBA and its financial system, but rather than trying to 100% model the NBA, time and effort has gone into generating a unique "universe" behind the simulation engine. All manner of real life events can and will occur which no other simulator presently contains: fights, suspensions, player deaths, chemistry feuding, players walking out on teams, etc.

The JBL Simulator is currently on version 14. New features are added to the simulator each offseason, which allows the league to remain flexible and innovative.

The JBL uses players generated by the simulator rather than NBA players. Participants in the league find that fantasy players provide the greatest enjoyment. Developing and managing a team long term is the main purpose of your role as a GM in the JBL, and as such you grow with your players, become adjusted to their games and become attached to them. While fictional player names may seem foreign at first, but it will not take you long before you know these players better than NBA players. It should be noted that even if the league were to start with NBA players, given the speed of the seasons, we quickly would be moving into fictional player territory in any case.

No. All GM interaction is provided through this website. When a GM is allocated a team, he or she gains access to the team's "My Team" area which includes access the locker room, depth chart, coaching options, scouting, watchlist and other features.

There is currently no season fee to be a JBL GM. The league is funded by GMs purchasing team merchandise through the league's merchandise supplier (jerseys, hats and t-shirts) and by donations to help support the server costs.

As you are the GM, you do not have any control over relocating, re-branding or renaming your team.

Your first contract as a GM is worth $3,000,000 for 3 years. After this point, you will have to negotiate your contract with the owner.

The owner of your team has ultimate power to fire you if they so choose. However, this is extremely rare (the JBL doesn't want to see good, contributing GMs fired). With that said, if you attempt to trade a franchise player without getting value in return, or make a similar "bone-headed" move, the team owner can veto the trade.

The JBL Head Office is in Melbourne, Australia, and thus all times are listed first in Melbourne time. Typically important league events occur at 10am Melbourne time daily (5pm PST and 8pm ET).

Gameplay Mechanics

JBL is primarily a roster building and team management simulation. Accordingly your main responsibilities are:

  • managing your roster daily by setting coaching settings and depth charts;
  • negotiating contracts, signing and releasing players in the offseason;
  • managing the makeup of your roster by trading players;
  • writing articles when required (trading players and firing coaches); and
  • engaging in discussion in the JBL Slack channel.

The JBL expects that you spend at least an hour a week on your team. As there are events daily, this breaks down to less than 10 minutes per day. Setting a depth chart is extremely simple and the majority of the time you can run with the same lineup if you so choose. It is a requirement to check in at least a few times a week in the Slack channel, where the main interaction of GMs takes place.

This is the absolute minimum; many of GMs spend a lot more time on the league writing articles, analysing statistics and engaging in discussion which promotes activity. Please do not apply for a JBL team if you cannot meet these minimum requirements.

Games are simulated daily, seven days a week. Three JBL Days are simulated daily at approximately 10am Melbourne time (5pm PST and 8pm ET) on weekdays, and 11am Melbourne time (6pm PST and 9pm ET) on weekends.

As there are three JBL Days simulated at once, this means that your team will typically play at least one or two games per "real life" day. As games are simulated, the results are automatically uploaded and synchronised with the JBL website, and you will receive a notification on the website of the game result. Game results are also posted into Slack immediately.

The season progresses as follows:

  • Draft Lottery;
  • Player Option Deadline;
  • Calculation of MLE Salary (league average salary);
  • Draft;
  • Rookie Signing;
  • Free Agency;
  • Coach Signing;
  • Training Camp;
  • Exhibition Games (if occuring);
  • Regular Season (Days 1 to 120);*
  • All-Star Break;
  • Trade Deadline (Conclusion of All-Star Break);
  • Contract Extension Deadline (Conclusion of All-Star Break);
  • Regular Season (Days 121 to 168);
  • Cap Penalty Calculation Deadline (Day 168);
  • Playoffs
  • Team Option Deadline (Conclusion of Finals).
Note at Day 42 of the Regular Season, the following occurs:
  • Players traded to a team before the season can now be traded, including back to the team they were traded from.
  • Picks traded from a team can now be traded back to that team.
  • Recently signed free agents (ie during the offseason) can now be traded.
  • Rookies drafted this year can now be traded.
  • Contract extensions can now be offered.

From time to time, the JBL Simulator creates random events such as injuries, player fines, conflicts, and other events (such as a player getting in legal trouble). This can initiate a series of interactions which may or may not involve you as a GM. Just like in real life, sometimes there is nothing you can do about random events except go along for the ride.

Yes. Go to the My Team > Depth Chart screen and you will be able to set both a default lineup, and a specific lineup for your next three games. If you do not set a specific lineup, the default will be used.

If a player is injured between simulation days (for example, Days 100-102 are being simulated and a player gets injured on Day 101), the coaching AI will adjust your lineup based on your depth chart. Generally speaking, it will move players from lower down in the depth chart up and replace the lowest with an additional player.

If you have only set a starter to be backup, a player will be selected from the bench to fill that position.

Currently, no; your coach is responsible for setting lineups used in game. It is possible that a future enhancement will allow you to set minutes by lineup and to only allow certain lineups in a game.

Players are rated by their ability to play each position. Sometimes your coach will not allow you to play a player so far out of position if they feel that they are unsuitable, which is why the player does not appear (for example, point guards are not listed under the center depth chart). If you want to change this option for a specific player, please contact the Commissioner.


There are many attributes for players - some of them are hidden and some are visible only at a high level. Players are rated in hundreds of areas - skills, physical, personality, mental and intangibles. Some of these intangibles are as follows:

Personality can be positive, negative or neutral. A player's Personality can affect many things, including how they get along with other players, coaches, and staff; their reaction to events; and their in game play.

Whether a player's personality will have a major or minor affect on other players will depend on their Influence.

There are 30 Personalities: 10 negative, 10 neutral, 10 positive. Within those categories, some can be seen "better" than others; likewise, within the negative category, there are some that are more negative than others. There are also counterbalancing factors: for example, impulsive players may make poor decisions without thinking, but may give them energy on the floor. A demanding player (which is a negative trait), can actually drive a player to demand that his teammates do better. A player that is "jovial" may be liked by teammates, but may not be counted on in clutch time.

Influence is an internal rating that can dictate how other players are affected by the player. A player's Influence is complemented by a player's experience, age and Personality. Players with higher Influence may assert their influence on other players -- this can affect team chemistry if the player has a dominant personality.

Team Leader
A team leader is one that is respect for their ability, Leadership, Work Ethic and affected by experience and age. Team leaders do not have to be the "best" players on their team, but players that younger players often look up to in the locker room. Young players can still be team leaders.

Each player is allocated DNA upon generation. DNA is a 5 letter string (eg: ABYXB) that dictates how they react to certain oncourt and offcourt events, and acts as a "random seed" for other events. DNA also affects team chemistry and how players get along (whether they are "friends" or have conflict). DNA does not change over a player's career. DNA is not visible.

Fan Popularity
Reflects how well-liked the player is by league fans (not just team fans). Drives jersey sales and All-Star votes. Fans can be ecstatic if you bring in a popular player. A "Despised" or "Villain" player can often divide fans.

Players have hidden experience (sometimes referred to as "XP") which can be derived from playing time, starting games, playing in playoff games, clutch situations, winning a championship and other events. The more XP a player has, the better they tend to handle difficult situations (for example, Game 7 on the road in the Playoffs). XP is also relevant for a player's development in the offseason, in that the more XP a player has, the more likely they will be to improve over the offseason. This is why it is recommended to get playing time into younger players where possible to build their confidence and XP.

Players can be scouted by going to their player profile. You will need to be logged in to access scouting reports.

The ratings that are visible on a player's profile are based on your coaching staff's Judging Ability, Judging Potential and Judging Personality, as well as (to a lesser extent) Coaching Guards, Coaching Forwards and Coaching Centers. The staff scouting ability is a composite of the head coach and your assistant coaches.

The rating scale is: A+ (rare), A, B, C, D, E, F.

Ratings are composite ratings that reflect a player's current capability based on the opinion of your coaching staff. Scoring, for instance, is not only the ability of a player to create their own shot but to put the ball in the basket; Ball Handling is breaking down offenses as well as the ability to dribble, and so forth. The ratings are there to give an idea of how a player plays and need to be read in conjunction with statistics, scouting box scores and the text scouting. As the ratings are composite ratings, some of the ratings may involve physical attributes (such as a player with a long wingspan being thought of as a better defender).

Ratings change periodically, both during the offseason (where major development happens), and sometimes during the season. The ratings are a mix of mostly current ability but does factor in some potential. The ratings are not relative to the league, although when scouting a league, a player that stands out may have higher ratings as a "halo" effect (for example, a player that leads a European league in three point shooting percentage at 44% may have an Outside Shooting Rating of A, but that rating may be lower when they enter the JBL pro league and are compared more closely with their peers due to the increased competition).

Along with the major development of players happening during the offseason, serious player injuries can cause permanent changes to ratings (for example, a loss of athleticism or speed with a knee injury).

'Fog of War'
The 'Fog of War' is a term for the variability of ratings based on your staff's scouting abilities. The more uncertain your coach is of a player's abilities, the more range there will be in their ratings, and the less reliable those ratings will be. A coach can also change their view of a player the more a player is scouted, or the more games the player players in a league in which it is scouted (for example: a coach may change their view of a player from Day 1 of the college season to the end of the tournament).

A player's ratings are more accurate if the player is on your team, as the coaching staff have the ability to observe him constantly. However, there still may be some variability in ratings due to your coaching staff's Judging Ability or Judging Potential.

Scouting for college players is a multi-level system that allows GMs to get more details about players as the scouting progresses, increasing the realism. The system is designed to reward early scouting.
Scouting Levels
The scouting levels are as follows:
  • Scouting Level 1 - Basic letter grades (A, B, C, D, E, F), strengths and weaknesses - (Cost: 1 trip large school, 1 trip small school)
  • Scouting Level 2 - Specific letter grades (A+, A- etc.), and text scouting - (Cost 1 large school, 2 small school)
  • Scouting Level 3 - Masked grades (Isolation, Post Execution, Self Creation) - (Cost 1 large school, 1 small school)
  • Scouting Level 4 - Personality type and locker room fit - (Cost 1 large school, 1 small school
You must wait 14 JBL Days between scouting levels. After the CJBL tournament, only levels 1 and 2 are available (or a workout, which reveals all information, but at a higher cost). Again, this rewards early scouting.
The workouts are only available for declared players. The workout reveals the workout rating, intangibles and any medical red flags. The cost of the workout will depend on the previous scouting level.
  • Level 0 (not scouted) - Cost 7 trips
  • Level 1 - Cost 5 trips
  • Level 2 - Cost 4 trips
  • Level 3 - Cost 2 trips
  • Level 4 - Cost 1 trips
Additional trips will now be awarded after the CJBL tournament based on the scouting budget. An additional 21 trips will be given to all teams regardless of cap position. This means that teams over the cap that have no scouting during the season will still be able to workout at least three players once players have declared, but teams that are below the cap and have scouting trips will get the benefit of early scouting and cheaper workouts.
Obtaining More Trips
Writing original content will be rewarded with additional trips. The amount of trips awarded are assessed on the content itself.

Players -- particularly players on the same team -- will interact with one another during the season. This can sometimes result in close friendships or mentoring relationships, or at other teams, conflicts. Players who are conflicting may let you or the press know that this conflict exists, and generally what they want to do resolve it.

Conflicts are dependent on player's Personality, but more mature/older players generally get into less conflicts. Conflicts can harm team chemistry which can in turn mean that your team performs poorly. Leaving a conflict to "fester" may result in wide ranging consequences such as a player demanding a trade.

To access this information in the Locker Room, go to My Team > Locker Room. There, you will see information about your Team Leaders, Influential Players, Mentor Relationships, and a list of your Player Personalities and Statuses.

Locker Room information occurs organically and is updated when an event or relationship changes.

A player can be injured during a game, during training or during the offseason. Sometimes a player may pick up an injury in a game that is only revealed several days later.

While injured a player's status may change from the number of days out to "DTD" (Day To Day). This means the player is close to returning and is being assessed daily, but is not currently 100% fit to play. Usually a player does not stay in DTD for more than 4-5 days.

In some rare cases, a player may pick up a recurring injury. This means that the player is more likely to experience the same injury multiple times. Some injuries have a greater chance of becoming recurring (such as an ankle or back injury).

Player development primarily occurs during the offseason, although as noted above, player ratings can change during the year periodically.

Each player has an in-built player peak which is hidden. Players can develop early or late, meaning that some young players are going to take more time than others. To ensure young players reach their potential, it is important to surround them with good mentors and veterans who they can glean playing style from, good coaching, and playing time.

Players can still develop even if they ride the bench for most of the season. However, player experience (XP) is vitally important. See: "How do players' intangible attributes work?"

Yes, to an extent. As noted above, playing a player more in situations which increase their Experience (XP) can lead to major development jumps during the offseason.

You can also set a Training Camp focus by going to My Team > Training Camp. A focus area means the player will be focused on improving that part of their game. A player can still improve other parts of his game during training camp but this area will be given extra attention.

Whether the focus is effective or not will depend on the player's work ethic and the skills of your coaches, as well as whether or not the player has any (more) improvement to be made (for example, it is much harder for older players to improve).

The focus ares are as follows:

  • Coach's Decision: Coach will direct the player to focus on all areas equally, rather than focusing on a particular skill.
  • Post-Up/Close Shooting: Player will work on posting up and close shooting, including shot selection, footwork, positioning, moves around the basket.
  • Mid-Range Shooting: Player will work on mid-range shooting, including shot selection, coming off screens, catch and shoot and moves off the dribble.
  • Free Throw Shooting: Player will work on free throw shooting and technique.
  • Outside Shooting: Player will work on outside shooting (long shooting and threes), including shot selection, coming off screens, catch and shoot and moves off the dribble.
  • Rebounding: Player will work on rebounding (both offensive and defensive), boxing out, positioning, footwork and outlet/full court passing.
  • Defense: Player will work on defensive skills, including blocking and stealing practice, hand/foot coordination, footwork, and positioning.
  • Ball Skills & Passing: Player will work on ball skills/handling, dribbling, breaking down defenders, as well as passing drills.
  • Film & Offensive Set Study: Player will study game film and the team's primary offensive sets in an attempt to improve their offensive basketball IQ. This will use the team's three primary offensive sets.
  • Film & Defensive Set Study: Player will study game film and the team's primary defensive sets in an attempt to improve their defensive basketball IQ. This will use the team's three primary defensive sets.
  • Fitness: Player will work on fitness and endurance drills to improve their conditioning. Players can also lose weight by fitness conditioning.
  • Weight Room: Player will work on gaining weight/muscle in the gym.

If you are resting a player for one or two games, no. But if you bench a player for more than a few games that is not injured, their general morale may be affected. Not getting playing time in general affects players significantly, and may cause the player to ask to be traded. A player can also "act out" and cause problems in the team if not getting enough playing time (and they warrant it).

Egotistical players may sometimes think their playing time should be increased based on their own inflated self-worth.

Each player is rated at their ability to play a position. Depending on the player's abilities, playing them way out of position may mean that you are not maximising their attributes or, in some cases, may even been harming their development (for example, playing a PG at PF). Players can generally "slide" a position without penalty, but keep in mind that they may find themselves against bigger/smaller, or quicker/heavier opponents which means that their effectiveness can be greatly reduced. Regardless of the player's listed position, if they do not have the requisite skills to play that position (which can include height or weight), the player may not be effective.

A player's listed position is their natural (most comfortable) position. Players can have two natural positions (ie SG/PG, SG/SF, PF/C etc) and can play either equally well. Note that the listed position is where the player is most comfortable, and not necessarily where they are best fit within the league (for example, a 6'7 PF in college may be too short to play the position in the pros, but this is their most comfortable natural position based on their skills). A player's listed position can change over time.

Developmentally, playing a player out of position can force them to learn new skills, but as each attribute has a hidden "cap", this can sometimes be pointless (a center may never have a Ball Handling rating of A+, no matter how long you play him at point guard). Conversely, in some rare cases, players that are dual position listed that only play at one position (for example, SG/PG that only plays SG) may start to lose innate abilities (such as their Ball Handling) if they do not use them as often in a game.

See also above: "A player seems to be missing from my depth chart. Why?"

Player statuses set a player's expectations within your team.

You can only have 1 Franchise Player, 2 Important Players, 3 Starters and 1 Sixth Man. 

  • Franchise Player (1 only) - Player will expect to be the highest paid on the team (or close to it), unless coming off their rookie deal, or will expect to be close to the max for their pay bracket. Player will expect to start all season and be treated like a franchise player.
  • Important Player (2 only) - Player is 2nd or 3rd tier in the team and are the better starters in the team. Player will expect to start all season.
  • Starters (3 only) - Player will expect to start most of the season.
  • Sixth Man (1 only) - Player will expect to be first off the bench and play the most minutes (on average) from the bench players.
  • Rotation (unlimited) - Player will expect to play most games.
  • Backup (unlimited) - Player will expect to only play from time to time, when injury or foul trouble requires.
  • Not needed (unlimited) - Player is not needed by the team.

You can change a player's status at any time. Changing a status severely can result in player unrest (ie Franchise Player to Rotation etc).

Promising a player a status in free agency and not delivering will cause the player to become unsettled and eventually want to leave the team.

Team Building and Management

How you build your team is up to you as a GM. You can build through the draft, stick with young players and hope that your players all hit their peaks at the same time. Or you could try to sign known veterans and hope they can maintain their fitness and ability throughout a gruelling year. Or you could do a mix. It's entirely up to you and only experimentation and experience will give you an idea of what works and fits together in a way that

Generally speaking, though - yes, it is better to have a mix. Veterans that have leadership intangibles are important in the locker room as they can guide younger players -- particularly wayward players -- in the correct way. A veteran player can take on a mentorship role if they see a situation they can pass on their experience to a younger player.

The JBL is set up so that any type of team can succeed, from a slow defensive juggernaut to a three point shooting transition team. With the current salary rules in place, even a team that is languishing at the bottom of the standings can turn around its fortunes in 3-5 seasons with shrewd management and the right transactions.

This is part of "figuring out" the league as a GM. There are no hard and fast rules about how a team style should be enforced, but it is recommended to have a particular style in mind when building your team. For example, if you want to have a team that focuses on transition plays and three pointers, look for athletic players with good endurance with great outside shooting. You should also try and align your coach's style and tendencies to the system you want to play.

It is still possible to succeed in the JBL with a slow, post-up centric offense if you have the right personnel.

You can attempt to tell a player to shoot better quality shots by controlling whether they shoot more or less from at rim, close, mid, long or three point range in the My Team > Coaching page.

A player may not take yours (or your coach's) instructions to heart. Depending on a player's personality and ego, your coach's attributes and quality, and whether or not the player listens to your coach, these settings may have little or no effect (he may not like being "told what to do", and may ignore your instructions, or in some rare cases, do the complete opposite). However, players that are generally receptive to changes will try to alter their gameplan to better match your settings.

Settings that can be changed are:

Playing Time: Whether the coach should play the player more, less, or keep with the coach's default.

Primacy (Touches): Whether the player should have more or less touches, or stay with the natural flow of the game (which will depend on what other players are on the court)

Shooting Preferences (At Rim/Close/Mid/Long/Three Point Tendencies): This will indicate to the player that you want them to shoot more or less from a certain position.

Three superstars on a roster is a fortunate situation but the season is, at minimum, 98 games long. Depth is especially important come playoffs when players are tired and can't play every minute. This is when teams that have built their roster with depth tend to see the most results.

You should make sure to set your rotations correctly so that you get some experience into your lesser used players before the end of the regular season. No use carrying players that are full of rust!

Cohesion and chemistry are very important for a JBL squad. Both are two sides of the same coin.


In the JBL, Cohesion refers to how how the team is gelling together. In general, the longer a team is together, the more cohesive they will be. Cohesion travels with a player; for example, putting together two players who had a positive relationship at another team many years ago can increase team cohesion.

You can build cohesion by keeping your lineup together for longer. Changing lineups and team personnel (ie via trades) often can have an effect on cohesion.


In the JBL, Chemistry refers to how close the relationships on the team are and how the team works on the court together. Chemistry is obviously important to putting together a winning squad and one of the most challenging parts of being a GM in the JBL. Just as in real life, there have been great players who have marred their careers by having poor attitudes and affecting their team negatively.

Things that can affect team chemistry:

  • Players with negative Personalities;
  • Players with strong Influence and Personality;
  • Conflicts within the team between players;
  • A player being dissatisfied with their situation (contract, playing time);
  • Conflicts within the team between players and head coach (players may lose respect and stop playing for the coach);
  • Poor team management or team morale (long losing streak etc); and
  • Popular players being traded, fined or reprimanded.

Influential players are important for chemistry. If your influential players have bad attitudes or are causing rifts in the locker room, your team chemistry could suffer.

Yes, homecourt advantage exists. Having good fan support can also give your team a very slight bonus.

Fans also appreciate signing a player that local/from the area where the team is from.

Each player has a Condition value out of 100 which indicates their current condition. This is described in the following terms:

  • Very Fresh
  • Fresh
  • Fine
  • Starting to Tire
  • Tired
  • Fatigued
  • Needs Rest
  • Exhausted

The more minutes a player plays in a game, the more tired they will be. A player's Condition will affect their fatigue during the game (for example, a player that is Tired will be able to play less minutes in a game). A player that is Very Fresh, Fresh or Fine will not suffer any effect on their game abilities (such as shooting), but from and past Starting To Tire you may see effects in game.

Players can return to Fresh/Very Fresh if you limit their minutes or rest them, but it is possible if a player is old or has poor Endurance, they will not be able to recover to 100% before the offseason should they pass a certain point.

Players tend to tire more after the All-Star break (Day 120).

Team pace and style can have an effect on fatigue (in particular, Pace). Playing a high-paced or transition offense, or playing constant full court presses, can tire out your squad. General athletic and player endurance, as well as a player's role (such as Key Player or Playmaker), can also affect fatigue.

During the season the maximum players you can have on your roster is 15. Twelve players can be active at any time, and three inactive.

During the offseason, you can hold more than 15 players on your roster. However this must be reduced to 15 before the season begins.

Coaching and Coaches

To set your team's core coaching settings and game style, go to My Team > Coaching.

Game Pace: Game pace will dictate how fast your team attempts to play. A faster pace will result in quicker shots on offensive and more fast breaks; a slower pace will do the opposite. A slower pace may be effective against a run-and-gun team.

Primary Offensive/Key Player: Other players will generally pass to a key player more on offense. Key players are also more likely to go one-on-one where they can. This can be left blank (in which case, the coach will either decide, or leave it up to the players' on the court natural tendencies).

Primary Playmaker: The playmaker is the main distributor, handler of the ball and offense initiator. This is often a point guard, but not always. This can be left blank (in which case, the coach will either decide, or leave it up to the players' on the court natural tendencies). Your Primary Offensive player and Playmaker can be the same player. Where possible, you should try to have your playmaker to have strong creativity and playmaking skills to avoid affecting your offensive sets.

Sixth Man: First player off the bench and will generally be preferenced minutes, depending on the game situation.

Your coach will suggest players, but keep in mind these may not fit in with your gameplay or starting lineup (although the coach will attempt to do so).

You can attempt to tell a player to shoot better quality shots by controlling whether they shoot more or less from at rim, close, mid, long or three point range.

A player may not take yours (or your coach's) instructions to heart. Depending on a player's personality and ego, your coach's attributes and quality, and whether or not the player listens to your coach, these settings may have little or no effect (he may not like being "told what to do", and may ignore your instructions (or in some rare cases, do the opposite). However, players that are generally receptive to changes will try to alter their gameplan to better match your settings.

Settings that can be changed are:

Playing Time: Whether the coach should play the player more, less, or keep with the coach's default.

Primacy (Touches): Whether the player should have more or less touches, or stay with the natural flow of the game (which will depend on what other players are on the court)

Shooting Preferences (At Rim/Close/Mid/Long/Three Point Tendencies): This will indicate to the player that you want them to shoot more or less from a certain position.

Yes. In the depth chart, you can set a player's recommended minutes. You can also control a minutes restriction by setting the Minutes Restriction to 'Yes' and typing in a number. Having 0 for a minutes restriction means the player will not play.

It should be noted that the coaching AI can sometimes override your decision. After all, you are the GM, not the coach. The coach may decide, in certain circumstances, to ignore your suggestions (in crunch time, in case of player injury or foul trouble, etc).

Each team has one head coach and two assistant coaches. These coaches may have various styles that affect your team's play. In general, a coach can be described by one of five types - Instructor, Motivator, Disciplinarian, Tactician and Psychologist. This is a descriptor based on the coach's ratings:

Instructor: Excels at coaching and developing players. Useful for teams with younger players.

Psychologist: Excels at controlling and understanding players' emotions. Useful for teams with emotional or troubled players.

Motivation: Excels at motivating players. Useful for teams that have players with lower work ethic.

Tactician: Excels at tactics and using offensive/defense sets. Useful for teams with high basketball IQ.

Disciplinarian: Excels at discipline. Useful for veteran teams.

Note that while a coach may have a leaning towards a particular coaching style, they can excel in more than one area.

In general, you should try to hire a coach that fits the play style you want and you think complements the skills and styles of the players you have. This includes the Pace that the coach generally likes to play at. Hiring a coach with 1 Pace and having him run the team at 10 Pace will not result in any significant harm to the team, but will not be utilising the coach's strengths to their fullest extent, and the players may not respond to the coach in the same way. Note the assistant coach/coaches' pace is not taken into account, only the head coach.

Depending on your team makeup you may wish to have complementary skills between your head coach and your assistant coaches. The head coach is the most important part of the coaching staff, but the assistant coaches attributes still matter. Both assistant coaches are equal in terms of their impact on the team. Assistant coaches can be used to complement skills which the head coach may lack (such as hiring two assistants that are excellent at coaching guards and forwards, whereas the head coach is excellent at coaching centers, you are adding to the coaching skill matrix that your players will be able to access).

Doubling (or tripling) up on some skills with your head coach and assistant coaches can be effective, but there are diminishing returns. If you have a particular play style in mind, having coaches with the same skills and attributes can reinforce your system to the players in a much sooner timeframe. For example, a team wants to run a high octane, fast paced, three point offense: if all three of its coaches had highly rated skills in the same critical attributes necessary to run this system (motion offense, transition, three pointers etc), the team could implement this strategy at a much faster and efficient level.

Coaches have hidden ratings, abilities and potential, including personality ratings, and their attributes can improve or decline similar to players.

A coach's ability is also important for player development. Hiring an excellent coach may have an impact on how your players develop during the offseason and training camp.

Each team must set a Team Philosophy going forward.

The Philosophy sets default offensive play categories, and allow your scouts to highlight players good for your scheme. This replaces the "coach suggests". Coach will also have a preferred philosophy, although (for now) the coach's philosophy will not give you any advantages.

A team will have a scheme proficiency rating which will dictate how well it knows the particular scheme.

The categories are:

  • Pick and Roll - Ball Handler: Possessions finished by the ball handler in the pick and roll (floaters, pull-ups, shots at the rim, where ball handler shoots before dribbling off screen)
  • Pick and Roll - Roll Man: Slips, rolls and pops from screeners in the pick and roll.
  • Transition: Transition possessions are about the defense not being set, and don't have anything to do with the time left on the shot clock.
  • Cut: Backdoor cuts and dump-offs, including screen cuts and flash cuts.
  • Off Screen: Generated by a player running off a screen (pin down, flare, elevator etc). The player shoots immediately, dribbles into a pull up or floater, or dribbles and takes a shot at the rim.
  • Spot Up: Similar to off-screen possesions but without a screen being used. Player doesn't need to be stationary. Includes catch and shoot and corner fades.
  • Hand Off: Dribble hand offs or flip/pitch plays. Can come from the passer being stationary or the passer dribbling at the receiver and then handing the ball off.
  • Post Up: Traditional post-ups such as back-to-the-basket and face-up post possessions.
  • Isolation: Possession that is broken down by the offensive player (such as a dribble drive twice).

Plays that don't fit into these categories will be "Miscellaneous". There is also a "Put Back" category for any offensive rebounds that result in a shot immediately.

Note that game pace will be restricted by the philosophy you choose: you will no longer be able to choose the "number" (rather, you can choose Slower or Faster as part of the Philosophy). This is to ensure that you can't create unrealistic results, eg choose 10 Pace with a Post Up Philosophy.

A balanced philosophy that does not preference any particular offensive or defensive set. Primarily a pick and roll scheme that uses traditional motion principles.

Highest percentage of plays: Spot Up, Pick and Roll, Transition
Lowest percentage of plays: Hand Off, Off Screen, Post Up
Pace: Average (4-6)
Player focus: Good pick and roll ballhandlers + passers, good jump shooters, perimeter players.

Offensive sets see the big and the wing on the weak side. Strong side passes the ball to the weak side big man to trigger a post up or a two man game with the wing, while the other three players create ball movement or isolate the wing. Highest percentage of plays: Spot Up, Isolation, Post Up

Lowest percentage of plays: Off Screen, Hand Off, Pick and Roll
Pace: Slow to Average (3-5)
Player focus: Passing big men, good isolation players, good post players, intelligent/veteran players, good shooting wings/guards

Grit & Grind:
A slow-paced, half court offense that focuses on inside-out, at rim and close shots. As the offense is slow paced, the defensive intensity is much higher.
Highest percentage of plays: Spot Up, Post Up, Pick and Roll

Lowest percentage of plays: Hand off, Off Screen, Isolation
Pace: Very Slow (1-3)
Player focus: hard workers, defensive non-shooters, 3&D, versatile big men, players that can go inside-out

Seven Seconds:
Description: High octane offense that uses transition as well as heavy pick and rolls to get early shots before the defense can get set. Offensive players spread the floor and the primary ballhandler creates opportunities to get wide open shots.

Highest percentage of plays: Spot Up, Transition, Pick and Roll
Lowest percentage of plays: Hand off, Isolation, Post Up
Pace: Very Fast (9-10)
Player focus: Requires good ballhandlers, athletic/quick players, rim runners and fearless shooters.

Pace & Space:
Uptempo "modern basketball" offensive scheme that gets the ball up the court as quickly as possible, allowing the offense to run more actions within the framework of a 24-second shot clock and keep the ball moving side to side. Uses motion principles. Capitalises on offensive players' individual strengths.

Highest percentage of plays: Transition, Spot Up, Pick and Roll Lowest percentage of plays: Hand off, Off Screen, Cut
Pace: Fast (7-8)
Player focus: ball handling shooters for the pick and roll, big men with high roll gravity, players with high off ball movement, good playmakers and passers, three point shooters

Morey Ball:
Philosophy that seeks the most efficient shots. Therefore there are no mid range shots — almost all shots will be taken at rim (layups/dunks/alley oops) or from three.

Highest percentage of plays: Spot Up, Pick and Roll, Transition
Lowest percentage of plays: Post Up, Hand Off, Off Screen
Pace: Fast (7-9)
Player focus: three point shooters, good isolation players, good ball handlers/create space athletes, athletic rim runners, players with good creation ability

Post Centric:
Slower "classic" post centric game that creates opportunities through pick and rolls and post play.
Highest percentage of plays: Spot Up, Pick and Roll, Post Up
Lowest percentage of plays: Off Screen, Hand Off, Isolation
Pace: Slow (1-3)
Player focus: strong big men scorers, face up bully forwards, distributing/creative guards and wings, players with pick and roll and creation

Perimeter Centric:
Philosophy that focuses on perimeter shots and finding the open man for open threes.

Highest percentage of plays: Spot Up, Pick and Roll, Transition
Lowest percentage of plays: Off Screen, Hand Off, Isolation
Pace: Average (5-7)
Player focus: good shooters (especially three point shooters), pick and roll players