Imagine this: You get up and go to work. When you arrive,
- the doorman swings a 2×4 at your knees.
- If you dodge him, then your assistant plunks down a dozen donuts on your desk as you sit down.
- After sitting, said assistant straps you into your office chair with a time-lock of 8 hours on the belt. You’re not to move until this afternoon. (No it doesn’t matter if you need the bathroom, sorry).
Here’s my question: How long would you work there?
As Tom Haberstroh shows in this ESPN Magazine article,
this is what the NBA is doing to its players. The league is literally killing its players – not as overtly as the 2×4 wielding door-man, but relentlessly, drip by drip, over-scheduling. NBA teams play 82 regular season games in about 160ish days. If spread evenly that’d work out to an alternating sequence of game-day/rest-day. But that’s not how the schedule works.
It looks a lot more – as Tom shows – like:
- Monday – flight to Portland, play, flight to Utah
- Tuesday – play Utah, flight to San Antonio
- Wednesday – play San Antonio, fly home.
Combine the relentless physical pounding of an NBA game with the airline miles (54000 in the NBA v. 29000 in MLB) and you have players getting hurt in major numbers.
Here’s the take-away: The NBA is using its players. In fact, it’s using them up. What if the NBA developed them instead? What if it developed a schedule that allowed players to get better as the season (or seasons) went along?
In your organization are you the NBA or the
NBA? Simply put, are you developing or using your people?
How do you know? Simple, ask them. NBA players are telling the league they’re getting used, but the NBA doesn’t seem to be listening. Are you?
In less than a calendar year, the San Antonio Spurs have gone from World Champs to 1st Round Exiters. **Only the 5th time this has happened since the early 80’s.
Granted it took an amazing shot from Chris Paul to knock them out, but knock them out it did. That shot leaves only two things to now watch in the NBA world:
- The playoffs – as they continue (Here’s a great preview of Hawks v. Wizards as an example)
- Tim Duncan – does he retire?
The playoffs are fun and the volume of close games will continue to intensify (although the Clips/Spurs series was terrifically entertaining). However, Duncan’s decision will have greater long-term consequences than this year’s champ. When he steps off the stage, so will Pop, and so will the Spurs.
The reality is Father Time is especially cruel in the NBA. Last year, Duncan and Co. looked (and were) unstoppable. Just ask LeBron and D-Wade. The Heat got beat and beat bad. (Lebron looked around and voted with his feet (and wallet) on the future outlook of the Heat.)
Fast-forward 1 year:
- Ginobli’s on the bench in the last 5 minutes of a game 7.
- Tony Parker cannot check Chris Paul on crucial possessions and
- the Spurs biggest plays are being made by Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. Duncan did make two stay-alive free-throws before CP’s shot.
My guess is that Duncan’s done. He played well this series, but he knows they (the Spurs) are only getting older. Unlike Kobe who doesn’t want to ever hang it up, TD has a sense of his time and his time’s conclusion.
His footwork is still what every aspiring post-player should watch. Go on YouTube and study it if you’re playing. But his surrounding cast is tired and tiring. Congratulations to the Clips and Spurs, but know that you saw the end of an era last night.
There’s a critical difference between the two dominant NCAA basketball teams:
- Kentucky ( in the men’s tournament) and
- Connecticut (in the women’s).
UConn doesn’t slow down offensively. As evidenced by last night’s unrelenting pressure against Maryland, the Huskies play great defense (like UK) but they never ‘hold the ball’ on the offensive end. As Nate Silver shows at 538, Kentucky did slow things down and it killed them (literally). Here’s a picture of it: Continue reading Geno v. Cal? Geno’s offensive philosophy wins