Injuries are part of sports. As unfortunate as they can be, the nature of physical sports like basketball or football promotes aggression that can result in devastating injury. This is a reality everyone who plays sports knows, and it’s one everyone accepts rather easily.
But the NBA seems to have an injury problem. This is more than just players playing a physical game and taking on nagging injuries. That’s always been a part of basketball, all the way back to the days where there was no 3-point shot and big men like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell dominated the game.
The Injury Bug
In today’s NBA, however, we’re seeing more injuries than ever before, and the game is the least physical it’s ever been. Though shooting is the focus of today’s game and there is little effort put into the defensive end of the floor, players are going down with injuries for months or being listed as day-to-day and having their minutes shortened as they recover.
There seems to be very few players in the NBA who aren’t injured. Anthony Davis is one example of a player who always seems to catch the injury bug, even though he fully recovers every time. When he comes back, something happens again, and he’s out for even more games.
There are many other players with this same problem. It persists every day as we see notable players out with nagging injuries. It’s not an issue we had even 10 years ago.
What makes the issue even more perplexing is that these players have access to the world’s best training and medical facilities. They have elite trainers tending to their needs, facilities to help them recover, and dietitians to guide a healthy lifestyle. Yet, the injury bug still persists to a level never before seen.
Getting to the Bottom
So, what is causing these NBA injuries? Why are players getting hurt more now than ever before? It’s a question several have asked in recent weeks, and many have attempted to get to the bottom of it.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George recently speculated on the problem on JJ Reddick’s podcast. In the interview, he explained that teams don’t practice as hard or as much as they used to, which makes their bodies not prepared to take on the grueling physicality and length of an actual NBA game. In his opinion, their bodies simply aren’t ready to compete.
George has a great point here and it should not be overlooked. The purpose of practice isn’t just to hone your skills and improve team chemistry; it’s also to get mentally and physically prepared for a full-speed NBA game. If teams and players aren’t practicing as much, they may indeed not be well-suited for a real game.
But nobody knows the real answer behind this problem for sure. There’s a possibility that all of the world-class amenities players have access to now is making them soft and they’re no longer able to push their bodies all the way through a grueling 82-game season. But again, this is simply speculation. Only time will tell if the issue will be fixed, and maybe then we can figure out why it happened.
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