NBA Injuries on the Upswing in 2015Warriors is hardly how we’d term men who dribble and dunk basketballs for a living, unless, of course, we’re referencing the 2014-15 NBA kingpins from Golden State. Although basketball has long been a game reserved for the frail and finessed, it has since taken on an intense physicality better suited for the ice rink, prize ring or gridiron.
“The amount of contact has risen to a dangerous level,” says Dr. Armin Tehrany. “Eventually they will need shoulder pads and knee braces, like in the NFL.”If the hardwood has become a battleground of sorts, today’s combatants clang elbows, swat forearms, and perform take-downs like never before. The proof? Try the alarming spike in season-ending NBA injuries plaguing the league today; sprained knees, blown-out ACLs, torn meniscuses – you name it. The game’s elite performers have been dropping like casualties, marring the beloved pastime for both fans and practitioners alike. Bigger And Better The physical evolution of the average NBA player over the past three decades is downright astounding. With improvements in sports medicine, nutritional science, and strength and conditioning technology, it’s hardly surprising that players in 2015 boast a vast physical superiority to the performers of yesteryear. “The players (today) are stronger and faster,” says Dr. Tehrany. Hence, the face of the game has undergone a dramatic transformation since the turn of the millennium. What was once a flashy, finesse-oriented sport has become one dominated by today’s physically imposing giants. The game’s tempo has also accelerated into a breakneck pace, thereby increasing the likelihood of NBA injury by tenfold. “As the level of intensity increases in the league, so does the risk of injury,” adds Dr. Tehrany. Other factors contributing to the injury bug include:
- Strenuous travel schedules
- Overabundance of games being played
- Lengthier off-season training leagues and camps