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View Full Version : Are today's NBA Players more prone to injuries?



HeatFan
03-20-2015, 05:10 PM
I keep thinking about the days that I most remember about the NBA, during the 90's, all of the teams I remember seeing their stars play night in and night out. Now, all stars are constantly injured, some are career threatening injuries and it is just a joke. Do you think stars are sitting at the first minor aching or is it just that competition is so intense that you are prone to injury? In fact, do you even agree that today's players are a bit softer in the injury Department than just 20 years ago?

Hawkeye15
03-20-2015, 05:32 PM
Can you provide evidence? It's not uncommon to be nostalgic, and have selective memory of the "old" days. But I would guess injuries have always been this common.

Hawkeye15
03-20-2015, 05:33 PM
I mean, my favorite player before Jordan (who broke his ankle and missed most of the 1985-86 season), was dealing with back issues by 28 (Bird).

KobeOwnSU
03-20-2015, 05:36 PM
The investment in players is larger now. Teams take more caution with their health. In the end it leads to players sitting out when they would have played 20 years ago. The NBA can't get that ROI if the players are in street clothes this they take the safe approach with smaller injuries.

HeatFan
03-20-2015, 05:50 PM
Can you provide evidence? It's not uncommon to be nostalgic, and have selective memory of the "old" days. But I would guess injuries have always been this common.

Fair point. I did some research to see if my hypothesis has any fact. I took the first 4 MVPs of the 90's (which is Jordan, Barkley, Olajuwon and Malone - no specific order). They played a combined 96% of their first 10 seasons in the NBA combined.

I took the last 4 MVPs (Durant, James, Rose and Bryant - no specific order). They played a combined 85% of their first 5-10 seasons, since only James and Bryant have more than 10 seasons. Durant has 6 and Rose 5. Not counting this season, which would drop that percentage even more because of Durant's and Rose's injuries.

I know it is a small sample size but at least in principal it is feasible.

Hawkeye15
03-20-2015, 05:55 PM
Fair point. I did some research to see if my hypothesis has any fact. I took the first 4 MVPs of the 90's (which is Jordan, Barkley, Olajuwon and Malone - no specific order). They played a combined 96% of their first 10 seasons in the NBA combined.

I took the last 4 MVPs (Durant, James, Rose and Bryant - no specific order). They played a combined 85% of their first 5-10 seasons, since only James and Bryant have more than 10 seasons. Durant has 6 and Rose 5. Not counting this season, which would drop that percentage even more because of Durant's and Rose's injuries.

I know it is a small sample size but at least in principal it is feasible.

the point above your post is also true. Teams take much more caution now. With the money being so much higher, an individual player is a bigger investment now. We also know how to extend players careers. Remember, the players are coming in much younger now than they did in the 80's. And teams are still trying to get everything out of them as long as possible.

Now, if a guy tweaks his knee, he sits. Guys used to play on torn acl's, because nobody knew about it. Just the advancement of medicine, training, and planning.

HeatFan
03-20-2015, 06:02 PM
the point above your post is also true. Teams take much more caution now. With the money being so much higher, an individual player is a bigger investment now. We also know how to extend players careers. Remember, the players are coming in much younger now than they did in the 80's. And teams are still trying to get everything out of them as long as possible.

Now, if a guy tweaks his knee, he sits. Guys used to play on torn acl's, because nobody knew about it. Just the advancement of medicine, training, and planning.

Yeah makes sense. You shut down a player like Melo because there is no point in competing (if you buy that - which can be argued both ways) when you are way out of the playoffs. But today, people sit down for rest, even if there is nothing really at stake and no lingering injury. I just find it a bit of a joke, even through I can understand the precautionary aspect (risk vs reward).

I also throw in there the argument of entertainment. I don't have an NBA team where I live and have to travel miles to see a game. Getting to a arena and seeing a guy get ruled out an hour before tipoff is a real bummer when you paid $175 a seat to see them play.

JasonJohnHorn
03-20-2015, 07:53 PM
I get the distinct feeling that they haven't been a common as they are now.

One issue might be the fact that there are 7 more teams than there were in 87, so... 7X12=84.

I remember DRob going down one year heading into the playoffs, and then again the season before TD got picked, but....

Pippen, Jordan, Magic, Bird, Malone, Stockton, Thomas, Dumars, Rodman.... they never missed a lot of time. Jordan had one year where he missed most the season, Stockton had one where he missed 20 or so, and Bird's career was cut short due to a bad back... the only franchise players I remember missing significant time was Hakeem with that eye injury. I'm sure there are a boat load more, but when the Hawks were in the playoffs, Nique and Willis were health. Barkley... I don't remember him missing any playoff games.

It does seem like more guys miss important parts of the season. Westy and Ibaka form OKC the last couple of years, Griffin and Lee for the Warriors and the Clip. Rose for the Bulls.

My guy says this is spot on, but I don't have the numbers to back it up.

Crackadalic
03-20-2015, 08:03 PM
AAU ball pretty much killed the current generation. Playing basketball nonstop and coming into the nba at an age where they are not physically ready has cause more injuries to their body

KobeOwnSU
03-20-2015, 08:45 PM
Valid point as well...I think it's a combination of everything discussed here.

asandhu23
03-21-2015, 02:16 AM
I think part of it is that everyone is trying to get these players to bulk up way more than their bodies can handle.

JasonJohnHorn
03-21-2015, 09:52 AM
Yeah... guys coming out of highschool and then first year of college... that puts more millage on them.

But if that is case, then why did Oden, Griffin, Nerlens and EMbiid all miss their entire first year without even PLAYING against that? I've never seen such a huge rash of top three picks miss their entire rookie year before. And Otto Porter and Jabari Parker missed boat loads of time in their rookie years as well. Jabari only played 30 minutes a game (comprable to college starting minutes) and only 25 games (less than a college schedule with a deep NCAA run).

Then guys like Kyrie Irving don't even play a healthy season in college?


Even guys that haven't played much are getting injured like crazy.


There is factors for vets like more millage (got drafted a 18 instead of 22 = four more NBA season by the age of 30 than most vets had), and there is also the international play, but none of that accounts for why rookies are missing time before they've even played 30 games, or in some cases, before they've even played a single game.



And you get a contented like OKC: each of their last three playoff runs have been derailed by injuries to key players. Westy, Ibaka or Durant. I don't remember a team that had such bad luck in the post season with injuries during the 80's/90's.


And OKC aren't the only ones. The Bulls have seen the same thing the last three years. That is like watching the 93 playoffs, and taking New York and Phoenix out of the equation because key players or the best players were injured. And that is EACH of the last three years. Not one anomalous season.

Not to mention the Lakers Kobe/Dwight show didn't even make it to the playoffs (Nash's injury aside), and the Warriors went without Lee in the playoffs, and the Clippers went without Griffin.

Could you imagine Jordan and the Bulls going into the playoffs in 98 with Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, and Alonzo Mourning all out with injury? the playoffs would have been a joke.

That's pretty much every year in the NBA now. The championship is no longer about who the 'best' team is, it's about who the healthiest team is.

Could you imagine how much more exciting the playoffs would be with a healthy KD/Westy/Ibaka trio, and Lee and Griffin both healthy, and Derrick Rose playing like an MVP instead guy whose worried about being crippled.

It's frustrating as a fan to see all these great match-up never happen.

Hawkeye15
03-21-2015, 07:27 PM
Yeah makes sense. You shut down a player like Melo because there is no point in competing (if you buy that - which can be argued both ways) when you are way out of the playoffs. But today, people sit down for rest, even if there is nothing really at stake and no lingering injury. I just find it a bit of a joke, even through I can understand the precautionary aspect (risk vs reward).

I also throw in there the argument of entertainment. I don't have an NBA team where I live and have to travel miles to see a game. Getting to a arena and seeing a guy get ruled out an hour before tipoff is a real bummer when you paid $175 a seat to see them play.


now that I can understand 10000%

effen5
03-21-2015, 11:05 PM
AAU ball pretty much killed the current generation. Playing basketball nonstop and coming into the nba at an age where they are not physically ready has cause more injuries to their body

I agree with this x1000000

LivinLakers
03-21-2015, 11:33 PM
I totally agree that there are way more injuries, and they are legit big time injuries. But here is my thought on why. The changes to the NBA rules have encouraged players to drive to the basket more.
With the elimination of hand checking it encourages guards to drive to the basket, where a smaller guard will take a bunch more punishment than he would if he shot a jumper.
But it isn't just guards. I even see centers and power forwards constantly driving to the rim.
I look a Mirotic and Westbrook and cringe when they drive to the basket, just like I used to with Wade and Rose. You can just tell that it is only a matter of time before a knee gets tweaked or an ankle broke.
If anyone saw the Julius Randle injury, that is exactly my point. A rookie power forward driving to the basket with reckless abandon.
That just my thoughts. To test it watch a game from the 90's and then a recent game and your eyes will give you the answer.

Scoots
03-22-2015, 02:45 AM
Part of it may be that players are coming out earlier and maybe the fragile ones were run out of the game in college in the past, but now, playing just a single season (or less) in college is the norm for top picks ... those fragile players make it to the NBA where there is a lot more money and incentive to nurse them along through all of their physical breakdowns which would have seen them wash out had they still been in college.

Another factor is that players bodies are tuned to a much higher physical level on average and that means they are also more likely to go beyond what their bodies connective tissues can handle. They simply have more muscle mass and less body fat than ever before and that alone puts them at risk for some injuries.

tredigs
03-22-2015, 07:37 PM
The cynic in me also knows that there are players out there flat out milking what should be minor injuries in order to preserve themselves for future contracts and a longer career of million dollar paydays. There is almost no incentive for them not to do this as contracts are essentially 100% guaranteed in the NBA regardless of game played.

One of those feelings where I have nothing to actually back my statement up other than an understanding of how society operates when big $ is involved.

ewing
03-23-2015, 12:09 AM
i think the game has become more explosive do to it being less physical. pushing and hand checking lead to less ACL tears then constantly going 100 mph while changing direction. I also think we think the difference is more then it really is- but i do think if it is more its b/c the game is more open and guys are always making explosive moves.

slashsnake
03-23-2015, 02:08 AM
i think the game has become more explosive do to it being less physical. pushing and hand checking lead to less ACL tears then constantly going 100 mph while changing direction. I also think we think the difference is more then it really is- but i do think if it is more its b/c the game is more open and guys are always making explosive moves.

I like that. Where a guy could be slowed down in the past, but the positions were skill driven, and that injury slowing him down a bit didn't make as much of a difference where today the positions are so driven by being in peak physical shape it does.

IE. Barkley, Bird, Malone, Stockton, etc lose a step (be it a major injury or a sprained ankle or back spasms on a given night), they are still 4 of the most productive players in the league. That happens to Blake Griffin, Durant, Howard, and Rose, they would really drop off.