Develop or Use

Imagine this: You get up and go to work.  When you arrive,

  • the doorman swings a 2×4 at your knees.Doorman
  • 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,

Basketball-19

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?

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