Injuries are unfortunately always a part of sports. No matter how much a player takes care of his body, some injuries are unavoidable. On the other hand, some injuries can be attributed to fatigue and lack of sufficient amount of recovery time.
This condensed 72 game NBA regular season has proven to be extremely challenging for players. The 2020 NBA Finals were in last October, and this season started back up just two months later in December.
While the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat are the only teams that played so deep into the postseason, the 2019-2020 NBA season was proven to be like no other. Right before the playoffs began, the season was halted in March due to COVID-19 and did not resume until late July in a bubble-like format in Orlando.
Injuries Plaguing NBA | Is the League to Blame?
One could argue that the two-and-a-half-month break between March and July, was the players “offseason” but at the end of the day, guys are trained to do their normal offseason routine during June-October. It is also definitely reasonable to believe that COVID restricted a lot of players just like everyone else.
Nonetheless, people around the league are not blaming the NBA for last season’s mishaps. It was unavoidable, and the commissioner Adam Silver had no choice but to suspend the season.
What does raise an eyebrow however is the NBA’s decision to condense this regular season into 72 without normal rest days in between games. The number of missed games has been alarming, as more injuries than ever before have piled up compared to previous seasons.
It is hard to argue that this was just an aberration or coincidence. It only makes sense that the likelihood of getting injured is higher without proper rest and treatment in between games.
Going into the postseason, the injuries have only increased especially to star players. Guys like Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Trae Young, and most recently Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo have all gone down.
Lakers star LeBron James believes the league is to blame in a recent tweet,
“They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well-being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just “PART OF THE GAME”. It’s the lack of PURE RIM REST rest before starting back up. 8, possibly 9 ALL-STARS has missed Playoff games (most in league history). This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane. If there’s one person that know about the body and how it works all year round it’s ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now.”
LeBron’s comments have raised eyebrows throughout the basketball world. If there is one person that can speak on what it takes to take care of your body, it is him.
At the end of the day, the NBA is a star-driven league and as fans, we want to see the stars perform especially in the playoffs. Without them, not only are the games not as entertaining to watch, but it is human nature to wonder what the outcomes of the games would have been if their teams were at full strength.
We will see how the rest of the playoffs shape out, but at the end of the day, the NBA has a lot of explaining to do. It will be interesting to see how/if they will adjust the schedule for next season considering all of the injuries that have piled up this year.
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