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Nashketball

Catastrophic injuries in the NBA.

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I really feel sorry for the players but not the owners--they deserve this. Their motivation for banning high school seniors from the draft was to keep insurance premiums down (better to see them play a season of 40-minute games--for free, of course--before assessing their pro-level injury risks) but they haven't done anything about the causes of serious injuries to NBA veterans, including:

A season that's too long.

Wayyy too many regular-season games.

Too much weight training.

Coaches *coughcoughmikebrowncough* who don't care whether they wreck players' careers, because the coaches know they're going to get fired within a year or two, anyway.

A ridiculously long interval between warm-ups and the opening tip.

Shoes designed for fashion more than for performance.

Spandex leggings (Kobetards) banned for no particular reason at all.

A playing surface that was designed for stage actors, not for athletes, and practically unchanged for 75 years or more.

Am I missing any more reasons ?

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Wait a minute, their motivation for keeping high schoolers out for 1 year was to lower their insurance premiums?

I'm sorry, but you're out of your bleepin' mind.

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A season that's too long:

It isn't TOO long, its only 82 games. Just like the NHL but less than the MLB. Look at all the head, knee, leg, groin injuries. The cause though might be all the extra stuff that NBA players go through. NBA season goes from middle of Fall to early summer. When summer comes around there are many leagues players can play in like national teams and such and with them playing in them by the regular season comes along, they are worn out. They should not let NBA players play in the summer leagues.

Wayyy too many regular-season games:

Again, look at the NHL.

Too much weight training:

Thats how you build strenght, though there is such a thing as over training but thats why they have proffesional trainers on staff.

Coaches *coughcoughmikebrowncough* who don't care whether they wreck players' careers, because the coaches know they're going to get fired within a year or two, anyway.

Could be a reason but not enough coaches doing this openly to be a valid one.

A ridiculously long interval between warm-ups and the opening tip:

Just a warm up, loosen up players. You can also see if certain players with injuries can play after they have tested that injured area for a bit.

Shoes designed for fashion more than for performance:

Not really. Thats with anything. Look at the NBA jeresys and shorts. They should go back to the old school tights then since the uniforms of today are more fasion and people might be able to run better with shorter shorts.

Spandex leggings (Kobetards) banned for no particular reason at all:

That isn't really a reason but a rant. Just certain policies the NBA has enacted.

A playing surface that was designed for stage actors, not for athletes, and practically unchanged for 75 years or more:

So you want more of a rough surface then people can leave games with cuts, scraps and bruises? The court serves a function and that is to prevent minor injuries like cuts, scraps and bruises. Can you imagine everytime a player falls on his back on a rough surface, face first, knee first?

The reason why they wanted to keep high school seniors out was this: Look at Shaun Levingston. He was drafted out of high school or college (can't recall) and now he could be done for his career. They do not want HS basketball players to be coming into the NBA with dollar signs in their eyes. There are certain players that can do that but not everyone is cut out. Thats why you go to college. If you suffer an injury and feel that basketball is not the right choice, you have a fall back. Shaun has no fall back. He might be able to play again but could end up being a bench player for the rest of his career. That is why the rule was enacted. To help certain players who dream of playing in the NBA some time to realize if this is the correct choice. Incase of injuries, you can still put yourself through college and earn a degree. You will at least have a job and not be a NBA has been.

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NHL first-line players play about 16-22 minutes per game. An NBA starter usually plays about 35 minutes per game. Also, skating is lower-impact than running and jumping. In what other sport does a well-known player do in a knee or an ankle almost every week ? Even gridiron players aren't injured so often.

Now that thugball is out and free-flowing, running basketball is in, strength isn't as important as it used to be. Even if it were, that doesn't justify excessive injury risks. Many of the players who've suffered injuries this season are extremely bulky players (Shaq), players whose teams put them on a weight-gaining program (Livingston) or Euros unaccustomed to the American obsession with weight training (Krstic, and Ilgauskas earlier in his career).

A rough playing surface isn't the answer, but a playing surface that has something besides ice and/or concrete beneath it. Wasn't that the criticism about artifical turf ? It's time for lower-impact subsurface.

BTW, I think any college dropout would take at least two years @ $398,000 guaranteed minimum over whatever the average salary of a college dropout these days is.

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NHL first-line players play about 16-22 minutes per game. An NBA starter usually plays about 35 minutes per game. Also, skating is lower-impact than running and jumping. In what other sport does a well-known player do in a knee or an ankle almost every week ? Even gridiron players aren't injured so often.

Now that thugball is out and free-flowing, running basketball is in, strength isn't as important as it used to be. Even if it were, that doesn't justify excessive injury risks. Many of the players who've suffered injuries this season are extremely bulky players (Shaq), players whose teams put them on a weight-gaining program (Livingston) or Euros unaccustomed to the American obsession with weight training (Krstic, and Ilgauskas earlier in his career).

A rough playing surface isn't the answer, but a playing surface that has something besides ice and/or concrete beneath it. Wasn't that the criticism about artifical turf ? It's time for lower-impact subsurface.

BTW, I think any college dropout would take at least two years @ $398,000 guaranteed minimum over whatever the average salary of a college dropout these days is.

Yes but how many people have pucks flying at them close to 100 MPH, skaters banging into them, slips, high sticks? Usually they do not push starters that far unless they need them. Most coaches would know to bench their star players for a bit. This year has been a freak year in injuries and could be the wear and tear from the summer leagues.

Shaq is getting old and should be an injury risk going foward. Shaun has been unlucky thus far in his career and its not looking good.

What other substance could there be? I mean they try putting padding underneath but then the ball could bounce funny. There isn't an underpadding out there that would not change some aspect of the game.

If you are NBA material. How many players are in the NCAA tournment this year? How many would get drafted? How many would not end up being good enough to earn the bigger contracts? There is a small pool of real talent and even though you love playing hoops in college, pro might not be the choice for you. I mean not everyone can be a Kobe, Garnett, Melo, James. Thus rasing the mimimum requirements allows for a better selection in talent and you have less people who end up eating bench time or time in the D-League.

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If you are NBA material. How many players are in the NCAA tournment this year? How many would get drafted? How many would not end up being good enough to earn the bigger contracts? There is a small pool of real talent and even though you love playing hoops in college, pro might not be the choice for you. I mean not everyone can be a Kobe, Garnett, Melo, James. Thus rasing the mimimum requirements allows for a better selection in talent and you have less people who end up eating bench time or time in the D-League.

The NCAA players who are marginal starters or bench players aren't the players who are going to try to jump to the pros after one or even two seasons. Every player who's drafted is guaranteed two years @ almost $400K (and rising every year). Even if a drafted player busts out after two seasons and works at Chez Ronald for the next twenty-five years, he's still likely to earn as much as the average college grad. (I mean, come on, these aren't kids who are passing up law school to play ball.)

From 1995 to 2004, only six prep players went undrafted. So are you telling me that the NBA passed this rule to protect one or two kids per season, if any ?

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The NCAA players who are marginal starters or bench players aren't the players who are going to try to jump to the pros after one or even two seasons. Every player who's drafted is guaranteed two years @ almost $400K (and rising every year). Even if a drafted player busts out after two seasons and works at Chez Ronald for the next twenty-five years, he's still likely to earn as much as the average college grad. (I mean, come on, these aren't kids who are passing up law school to play ball.)

From 1995 to 2004, only six prep players went undrafted. So are you telling me that the NBA passed this rule to protect one or two kids per season, if any ?

ok I should have been more clear. These are players who DID NOT enter college. They forego college to enter the NBA for money. Kobe, James, KG I believe are examples of these type of people. Even Shaun I believe went straight from HS. They made a rule like this to give people some college experience. That is what I ment to say. They are only protecting students because students should not bank on a NBA career to be a steady flow of income. College can help you gain some skills. Now with students required to at least have one year of college expereince means that they at least can see if any injuries form and if they are made for the pros. This also gives people national exposure playing in the NCAA and make teams draft a player who isn't going to fade or become an injury risk. Shaun again was a type of player like this. I bet if the Clippers saw him play some college hoops and he had some of those knee injuries in NCAA, they wouldn't have touched him. With people coming straight from HS, there is not enough exposure, teams do not see what a player can do and they are sometimes taking a huge risk unless he is a player who has huge potential.

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Well, there's no doubt that a pro bust is better off with a college degree than without. I just don't think that's what really motivated the NBA to institute this prep ban. After all, it's just a one-year ban, not a four- or even a three-year ban--and even at two years, the top Euro teams would begin poaching American prep talent.

So, not only don't I believe that the NBA is out to protect prep stars, I don't believe that either the NBA or the NCAA would expect it to increase graduation rates, anyway. You made a good observation: There's a big difference between a high-school practice/game schedule and a D-I practice/game schedule, and a prep player who plays four years without injury could still rip up a joint as a college freshman or an NBA rookie. Better for the NBA that it happens to college freshmen, and better for NCAA coaches that their programs are still being mentioned on draft day.

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There are many reasons for the rule change. Here are some of them:

-To give players more experience, in order to make an educated decision about declaring for the draft (call this the DeAngelo Collins rule)

-To give players more experience, to improve at playing the game

-To give the NBA a free-of-charge marketing department (see how it's working with Oden and Durant?)

-To reduce the risk to NBA teams of drafting high school players who don't pan out

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I think the problems with the NBA and injuries falls back on the players themselves. Often times these guys come into camp out of shape and then get "tweaks" that carry on throughout the year. Look at how many guys are hurt early in the year. The fact is, if you are a "professional" athlete, you need to do your job year round. Your job includes not only on-court time but also all of the things necessary to be able to perform at peak level while on the court.

You will find that most NFL players train year round. In fact, if you drive by the Indianapolis Colts complex this afternoon, you will find the parking lot full. I guarantee you by late April when the Pacers' season is over, you won't find any of those guys around until training camp next fall.

Allowing HS players to be drafted is an entirely separate issue.

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I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Should we make a poll out of this ? LMFAO.

On the topic of player development, who here thinks that NBATV's constant hyping of D-League programming is really out of control ?

Can you name four D-League players without looking them up ? I can't. B)

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Although I disagree with most of OP's points, I agree with one thing - the season is too long.

About comparing NHL to NBA...If you've played both Hockey and Bball continuously for certain periods, you would know...although Ice hockey could give u more bruises and require more stamina during games, playing Bball puts so much pressure and wear on your joints of lower body. Forget sprained ankles. IMO the most frequent injury isn't anything accidental - tendinitis. Also the fact that you leave the ground (and these are athletes who weigh 200~300 pounds) leave doors for very serious injuries...poor Garbo...:*(

Another thing. KG said once: "toughest things in NBA - defending pick N rolls and back-to-back games." NHL has back-to-backs like 1~2 times a month. NBA has back-to-backs almost every week.

Somebody also mentioned NFL players train all-year around. Well NFL is played so that outcomes are decided on small number of games. So your best effort should made to keep yourself available for those games - prevent yourself injuries and stay in shape. Bball players could work their asses on conditioning and strength training during summer...but in Bball it's all about, "you got game?" You don't get better in offseason soley by training...you need to play. you need to play in summer leagues. Everyone in basketball business will agree that playing the game is the best training you need.

If we cut down regular season games, i do believe the quality of games will get better. Less players missing games at the end of the season and making Lebron play 40mpg won't irk many people. Not to mention players will be fresher during playoffs. Trust me i watch bball almost every night....but i'd take quality over quantity.

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As far as the NBA requiring a year of college before entering the NBA I just can't understand the problem. I do think it would be better for the players if they could go straight to the NBA. They are sure to make alot of money immedietly. And if they fail they have made more than enough money to pay for themselves to go back to college! If they value a college education they can use their NBA money to get one after they are out. As for someone like Shuan Livingston, he has made millions and can afford college if he wants to go. If he had to go to college first it is likely he would have gotton injured there and never had the oppertunity to be a top draft pick making millions.

However, ultimately the NBA should have the right to decide who they as a business hire. Would anyone be complaining if a typical company required a full college degree before being hired? Of course not, in almost every typical good job the business requries a full college degree for someone to be hired and no one complains about the rights of the potential employers being violated by employers who will only hire fully prepared employees they know can do an adaquate job. So why is it a problem for the NBA as a business to wait for players to prove themselves at the college leval before paying them to perform at a higher leval? If any other business can choose the leval of preperation they require employees, than so can the NBA.

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As far as the NBA requiring a year of college before entering the NBA I just can't understand the problem. I do think it would be better for the players if they could go straight to the NBA. They are sure to make alot of money immedietly. And if they fail they have made more than enough money to pay for themselves to go back to college! If they value a college education they can use their NBA money to get one after they are out. As for someone like Shuan Livingston, he has made millions and can afford college if he wants to go. If he had to go to college first it is likely he would have gotton injured there and never had the oppertunity to be a top draft pick making millions.

However, ultimately the NBA should have the right to decide who they as a business hire. Would anyone be complaining if a typical company required a full college degree before being hired? Of course not, in almost every typical good job the business requries a full college degree for someone to be hired and no one complains about the rights of the potential employers being violated by employers who will only hire fully prepared employees they know can do an adaquate job. So why is it a problem for the NBA as a business to wait for players to prove themselves at the college leval before paying them to perform at a higher leval? If any other business can choose the leval of preperation they require employees, than so can the NBA.

The problem is the NBA isn't just a business. It's practically the whole pro basketball industry in North America, and there are antitrust and collusion issues involved. By making these kids play a year for free in the NCAA, they're basically reducing the length of their careers by one year, costing many of them millions of dollars, all to save a buck on their insurance costs.

Ironically, because the NBA used a quick fix for its rising player-injury costs instead of being proactive to prevent injuries, NBA teams might not see any savings, anyway. Insurers have already begun to refuse to insure certain MLB players, and if NBA teams are making insurance claims on their injured stars, too, they should expect a similar reaction from the insurance industry.

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The problem is the NBA isn't just a business. It's practically the whole pro basketball industry in North America, and there are antitrust and collusion issues involved. By making these kids play a year for free in the NCAA, they're basically reducing the length of their careers by one year, costing many of them millions of dollars, all to save a buck on their insurance costs.

Seriously, prove this, because I'm positive that you're full of crap.

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I'm not sure how he could "prove" it without being 1) a member of head office w/ access to player insurance policies, 2) the broker who sold them the policy or 3) the insurer.

I know for a fact that insurance plays a big part in the huge contracts teams are able to give to their players. When you have a multi-million dollar policy on your player and his season ends, guess who gets the money?

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I'm not sure how he could "prove" it without being 1) a member of head office w/ access to player insurance policies, 2) the broker who sold them the policy or 3) the insurer.

I know for a fact that insurance plays a big part in the huge contracts teams are able to give to their players. When you have a multi-million dollar policy on your player and his season ends, guess who gets the money?

What I would like to see is some reference to a journalist who has actually documented that insurance premiums somehow factor into the decision to bar high schoolers from the draft.

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I'm not so sure about insurance premiums being the issue, but I agree the decision to keep high schoolers out of the league was completely about money and not taking on any of the risk involved in developing talent.

good post in this thread, but for the most part, I agree with Nashketball.

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I'm not so sure about insurance premiums being the issue, but I agree the decision to keep high schoolers out of the league was completely about money and not taking on any of the risk involved in developing talent.

good post in this thread, but for the most part, I agree with Nashketball.

Yeah, I'm not saying that the NBA necessarily had the players' best interests at heart when they passed the rule (although it could end up being to the players' benefit to play a year of college ball), but just that when it came to the number of reasons to pass the rule, that "insurance premiums" was far down the list.

Obviously, the NBA is a business and as such will more often than not make decisions based on money.

As far as the season length is concerned, the season is agreed to be too long by everyone aside from the accountants. Having a 48 game season (or similar) would make a lot of sense, but would also destroy their bottom line.

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First off, statistics show that football and gymnastics are the most injury-prone sports.

Secondly, we have a tendency to give more weight to more noticeable events--that is to say that while I haven't looked at any statistics regarding the injuries rate this year vs. the injury rate of previous years, I would be unsurprised to find that this year's rate was within a normal range. Granted, I'm not saying that anyone here has said that injuries have increased dramatically recently, but I didn't read much that implied that injury rates for professional basketball have always been high or a problem, hence my statement.

Thirdly, with the exception of football, the regular season is 'too long' in all major North American professional sports, if you use the length of the regular season in other regions of the world as a guideline. However, I don't think that the length of the season is a huge factor. Many injuries are 'freak' accidents, and are simply the result of being out there playing. Criticism of the length of the season ignores that if the season were shorter players would be involved in more off-season league and informal play, and as a result I would expect an increase in off-season injuries.

As for why the NBA instituted its rule regarding players being unable to declare for the draft until their graduating high school class has been out of sesssion for one year, the reasons are myriad and complex, but it is pretty easy I think to cite the main components.

First off, that stuff about insurance premiums is garbage. That is not why the NBA embraced this rule. If anything, the league's fears about young, immature players, usually black and from at best modest upbringings, foregoing a year or two of college to mature and acclimate to 'big-time' sports, and the effect these young players have on their image, is probably a bigger reason. Some have stated that this particular reasoning indicates a racist attitude on the part of the NBA, but I dismiss even this reason (to which I lend far more credence than insurance premiums--see the recent institution of a dress code) because it pales in comparison to what I reference next.

While the NBA does not have a hand in NCAA basketball, it is their feeder league, their minor league. The D-League (which should be renamed, as 'D' tends to invoke, I think, thoughts of a D list or a D grade) is a minor league for players who are no longer collegiate players, but may in time develop the skills to contribute to a professional team. In the future it may even be really useful for developing young players, players who have lots of 'upside' as pundits call it, but who aren't likely to crack into the rotation of their team at present, or to be very effective if they did get into the rotation. But that's neither here nor there.

The NCAA is a business, and it is a business that has missed out on some of its best players for the past decade. Not to say that this has had a great effect on viewership, but it is something that nags the minds of people involved with the college and pro game. By making players have no real choice but to go to college and play at least a year you make the college game just a little better (see: Oden, Durant), you get to market and hype a player (see: Oden, Durant), you get to see a player against much better competition than they faced in high school (see: Oden, Durant), you get to see these players in national television games in packed arenas with hysterical fans (see: Oden, Durant).

Also, it makes players better. And it gives them that much more time to mature.

I'm rambling now. And I'm missing Law & Order. Look, it's not about insurance premiums or shaving a year off players' careers, it's about strengthening the college game, making NBA draftees better players, and letting them mature just a little bit.

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Not sure what you consider a freak injury. A collision that results in a broken nose is a freak injury. Injuries to joints, especially to knees and ankles are almost always the result of cumulative stress from repetitive motion and fatigue, and those are the injuries we've seen too many of this season.

I don't really understand how the one-year draft ban makes the NBA any less black, especially since white high-schoolers are banned as well, and since I can't think of any NBA/NCAA cross-marketing schemes, I'll have to dismiss that point, too.

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