As I write this post, the Warriors’ season-opening win steak is in major jeopardy at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. A few minutes ago, the usually estimable Jim Barnett, color commentator on CSN Bay Area’s Warriors broadcasts, reminded viewers that the Dubs are tired because they are playing on the end of a back-to-back. Stephen Curry, for instance, played 38 minutes yesterday in Toronto. No wonder the team is dragging against a flawed Nets team.
Except, no. This is simply bullshit–popular and relentlessly believed bullshit, but bullshit nonetheless.
Curry played 38 minutes yesterday; Draymond Green went for 39 minutes, Klay Thompson played 35. So what? They’re NBA professional basketball players–they’re supposed to play minutes, however many are required of them to perform their jobs.
Is playing 38 minutes in an NBA game physically demanding? Of course it is. That’s why the only people who do it are–as we are reminded ad nauseum–the “greatest athletes in the world.” Nobody is pulling me off the couch and asking me to run up and down the floor chasing Jarret Jack; Curry and his teammates are who they are because they’ve been hired to perform that very task. They’re built for it. And, of course, they’re paid for it–handsomely, to put it mildly.
Keep in mind: nobody is asked to play 48 consecutive minutes in an NBA game. There are time outs, breaks on the bench, and a full 15 minutes of halftime. Sure, it’s still physically demanding, but so is a triathlon, and there are a lot of people in this world who run/swim/bike triathlons–without the benefit of timeouts and halftime.
You want to play the game and get handed a bank in order to do so? Get your conditioning to the point where you can play less than a continuous hour of basketball–and then do it again the next day, without complaints. And without complaints from proxies sitting on the sidelines.
Or, if you prefer the alternative, go work in a warehouse for eight hours a day, like a lot of people in this world do–without the benefit of multi-million dollar contracts. You see, everyone has “playing time” issues; it’s just that the guy working for UPS doesn’t have anyone with a microphone making excuses for him.
And by the way, the team must not have been too tired: in the time it has taken me to write this post, the Warriors have gone from a tight game to leading by 17 with six minutes to play. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind–and body–to it.