ESPN – Fatigue has long been a reality of life in the NBA, a league with teams that play 82 games in under six months and fly up to 50,000 miles per season — roughly 20,000 more miles each season than NFL teams and far enough to circle the globe twice. Over the 2018-19 season, the average NBA team played every 2.07 days, had 13.3 back-to-back sets and flew the equivalent of 250 miles a day for 25 straight weeks.
Some in the league, from players and coaches to training personnel, have begun to suspect that the toll extracted by the NBA grind — the combination of the sport’s physical demands, the circadian disruptions, the six to eight months of travel across time zones — is not fully appreciated..Still, despite the league’s best efforts — lengthening its schedule in recent years, reducing back-to-backs for five straight seasons (down to an average of 12.4 per team in the coming season), eliminating four-in-five stretches, reducing the nationally televised games that tip off at 10:30 p.m. ET, creating more rest days — sleep deprivation remains what one high-ranking league source intimately involved with player health calls “our biggest issue without a solution.”
“It’s the dirty little secret that everybody knows about.”
…”You ask anybody in the room,” [Tobias] Harris says. “The thing I talk about is sleep.
“I think in a couple years,” he says, “[sleep deprivation] will be an issue that’s talked about, like the NFL with concussions.”
I debated actually going with the word “scourge” in the headline because I had to look it up myself, but it was how ESPN described it and its just so dramatic, so over the top, that I had to include it. A scourge is “a person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering.” So the great “silent scourge” of the NBA thats causing so much great trouble or suffering is not getting enough sleep. I feel like Charlie when Mac and Dennis are unsuccessfully trying to explain to him whats going on in Israel. Oh I don’t understand? Why don’t you crack an egg of knowledge on me buddy?
Our grandparents had the great depression and world wars to struggle with, but NBA players are sleepy soo its kind of a wash in who had it worse.
Look I totally get that playing on back to back nights in different cities sucks. Playing til 10 pm and then having to jump on an airplane and not getting to your hotel until the middle of the night sucks. Not having 8 hours of sleep in general sucks. But you know what?
Now if we’re talking about this in the context of achieving peak athletic performance then fine, but thats not what this article is about.
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum began taking naps in high school and seeking nine hours of sleep a night. And in the NBA, he gets into bed as early as possible. “Lack of sleep messes up your recovery, messes up how you play, your cognitive function, your mindset, how you’re moving on the court,” McCollum says. “Sleep is everything.”
When the hell did people have time to take naps in high school? You’re in school til 2:30 and then at practice til 5. I would have to assume that means sneaking in some REM during algebra class.
I am lucky enough to only have to work one job these days, but for years I worked as a bouncer at a bar in Boston. On school nights no less! Working til 1 or 2 in the morning and then driving home only to get up at 7 am the next day and take the T all the way back downtown to my soul crushing 9-5. Thats a fucking scourge buddy.
Most of America works multiple jobs and doesn’t get enough sleep. Can you imagine saying this to a mom with a newborn baby? She literally might murder you where you stand. So while not getting 8 hours of sleep sucks, I would gladly trade a few hours of sleep here and there for $20M annual contracts handed out to even average NBA players. Not to mention you get the whole summer off like a goddamn kindergarten teacher. Sorry guys, but I refuse to feel for ya here.