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Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 at 10:45 am  |  80 responses

Damian Lillard Wants to Play Fewer Minutes Next Season


Portland’s young, ambitious point guard has big goals next season. Damian Lillard, in addition to individual accolades, wants to lead the Trail Blazers back into the Playoffs. However, Lillard is looking to reduce the wear and tear on his body during his second year in the L. Per USA Today: “Damian Lillard doesn’t want to lead the NBA in minutes played again. The Portland Trail Blazers point guard got a taste of that workload during his rookie of the year season, and he didn’t like it. ‘Sometimes when you’re out there (playing) so many minutes, your body can wear down,’ Lillard said. ‘So you’re not always productive at the highest levels because you might be worn down.’ Lillard, drafted sixth overall out of Weber State in 2012, averaged 19.0 points and 6.5 assists a game last season. But the Blazers, who finished 11th in the Western Conference, lacked depth at every position, so he also played 38.6 minutes a game and an NBA-best 3,167 overall. General manager Neil Olshey has made moves this offseason to correct that. The Blazers drafted Lillard’s friend, fellow midmajor star C.J. McCollum of Lehigh, with the No. 10 pick. They followed with trades for center Robin Lopez and forward Thomas Robinson, the No. 5 overall draft pick in 2012. And Lillard now has a backup, as veteran Mo Williams signed as a free agent. Lillard is happy with the extra help he’s getting. ‘It was definitely what we needed,’ he said. ‘We needed size and we got that. We needed more depth, and we definitely got that. I think we’ve made a lot of moves to help our team,’ he added. ‘Now we’ve just gotta figure out a way to develop that chemistry and perform on the floor together.’”

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  • playa

    I don’t know what it is- players are getting more and more athletic,yet everyone’s playing less&less minutes, they are complaining about fatigue etc, when NOBODY is playing even 40 mins.The best players from every era played almost exclusively over 40 minutes a game& no one seemed to cry to the media etc.If you are as great as you make out to be, you’re supposed to be on the court as long as your team needs you.Times are changing and nba is slowly following the european path= 10 guys playing 20 or 25 minutes a game, turning everyone into role player in effect.Maybe im paranoid but I noticed this trend and its a change for the worse imo. .

  • LP @ThisisEther

    “……‘Sometimes when you’re out there (playing) so many minutes, your body can wear down,’ Lillard said. So you’re not always productive at the highest levels because you might be worn down…..”

    And as a fellow PG, you DO NOT want to be fatigued playing against the best PGs in the league. No matter what shape your’re in, If a very good PG is coming in the game fresh and you’ve been playing for 10 mins straight, you are at a major disadvantage…..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    if he plays normal minutes, people are going to think he regressed. he’s not nearly as good as everyone thinks he is. i hope he handles the undue criticism well if he gets his wish.

  • RayJr

    This kid is already worrying about wear and tear before his second season already starts?! He needs to have the mindset that he is going to take advantage of his youth and athleticism and go all out and not worry about this until he is in his 30s. This isn’t high school or Weber State anymore. This is the NBA where you have the world’s top trainers, doctors, physical therapists, etc at arms length to help prevent the wear and tear.

  • RayJr

    If you are in the NBA, you are a top echelon athlete so fatigue shouldn’t be a concern. Even if you have played every minute of a game and are in double OT, conditioning and fatigue should not be a problem. These guys wouldn’t be in the league if it was.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    “Even if you played every minute of a game and are in double OT conditioning and fatigue should not be a problem”….In what world? These guys are human beings, not machines. How much have you studied the body and fatigue? Done research? Because otherwise, you sitting here saying fatigue should never be a problem is pretty ridiculous.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Right. Everyone needs a rest break during games. If the top guys need minutes on the sideline (which they all do), it’s okay for Lillard to need a few more moments on the bench. The last thing you want to see if you’ve been on the floor for the entire 2nd half is Chris Paul, Derrick Rose or Tony Parker at the scorer’s table about to come into the game after they’ve had a few minutes to rest.

  • RayJr

    NBA players are different from the average Joe that goes to the boys club and plays 2 straight pickup games and their performance starts to dwindle because fatigue affects them. NBA players condition their bodies so that fatigue does not set in like you are me. They are not machines but they go through training camps and endless hours of strength and conditioning training so that they become pretty damn close to machines as opposed to the average joe, like you, who only gets exercise when playing said pickup games and worries about getting tired.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    …And even with all of those resources available, guys still need time to rest. So many times, if you watch games, you see guys who are tired but refuse to come out of the game. Their games suffer. Shots fall short. Dudes blow past them on defense. It gets to the point where their coaches have to pull rank and take them out of games against their wishes. If fatigue was never a factor, Jordan and every other legendary player would have played the entire game consistently and teams would just need starting lineups and no bench players. Let’s be smart about this.

    And I’m pretty sure he’s aware that it isn’t Weber State or high school anymore. Don’t be that Internet tough guy trying to bash NBA players when you haven’t played a second in the league and don’t know what kind of toll it takes on them physically. This isn’t PlayStation. You can’t flip off the fatigue button in real life.

  • RayJr

    You really think TP, CP3, D Rose or any of the top PGs in the NBA are thinking “oh man I’ve played the entire 1st, 2nd, 3rd quarters and Parker just got 2 minutes rest so I’m about to get run out of the gym”??? If an NBA player would ever think like this then they have already lost that battle. These players are conditioned so that this is not a problem. People do not make it into the NBA or any other pro league if they had the mindset that you have.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    NBA players are human beings. Exceptional human beings athletically…but human beings. They aren’t a different species of mammal. All the money in the world can’t make them any less human and more mutant. NBA players condition their body to withstand as much as they can take, but there’s a limit for everyone. Their limit is beyond anyone who’s not a pro athlete, but there is still a limit for them. To deny that is to deny reality. So when you say fatigue should never be a problem, you’re basically saying that they aren’t human. Because fatigue is real.

    Allen Iverson, one of the best pure athletes to ever play in the NBA, had to be told to get off the treadmill in one of his draft workouts. He could run for quite a long time with no break. Just a gift he had without training. A uniquely gifted athlete. But he needed time on the bench which meant he got tired. There isn’t one player in the league who doesn’t get fatigued. Some quicker than others, but all of them get fatigued.

  • RayJr

    Yes NBA coaches pull players to give them rest but as an elite athlete such as a PG in the NBA fatigue should not be a factor that affects performance. I’m not saying play the entire game but when teams get to the playoffs or even during the regular season sometimes players play the entire game especially if they are hot or someone is injured and the team needs them. Yes the NBA is different and my point is that NBA players, especially guards should not have issues with fatigue. Practices, camps, strength and conditioning training is meant to work the athlete harder so that endurance and stamina are sustained longer during the season and games.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    You’re misguided. Horribly misguided. They are conditioned to go for as long as they can. For an 82 game season and the playoffs. Nothing more. Do you understand that if what you believe were true, there would be no need for bench players? Because you’re sitting here saying that fatigue should never be an issue. So that would mean Kobe, LeBron and these guys would never need to come out of the game. And we all know that that’s not true…everyone except you apparently.

    I watched Rose shoot quite a few shots that were short in the 2011 Conf Finals against the Heat. Why were they short? Because his legs left him. He was tired and it was obvious. While LeBron, who was able to rest because he had Wade and Bosh to play when he wasn’t, wasn’t as tired as Rose was. So he could finish games strong. It’s not about a mindset at all.

  • RipCity

    He played the most minutes in the league as a rookie, there was no conditioning issues. There was no rookie wall. With Mo Williams and CJ McCollum it’s good to spread the minutes out a bit

  • RayJr

    I see where you are coming from but what I am saying is that these guys are conditioned to push through fatigue and not let that be a metal roadblock.
    Also, most players are pulled in the NBA because of bad decisions, shots, etc and the coach needs to talk with them. Not because they are tired.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    “…but as an elite athlete such as a PG in the NBA fatigue should not be a factor that affects performance.”

    That is completely idiotic. When star players do play 40 plus minutes in playoff games, they normally don’t practice the next day or they do very little. Why? Because they’re fatigued and coaches give them time off so that they can be ready to play in the next game. We hear so many stories about it. Sometimes, entire teams get days off. Or they just watch film instead of practice. “The Heat were given a day off by Coach Spoelstra after last night’s double OT game”, etc. So many instances.

  • playa

    If only there were more iversons in terms of minutes played,,.Man averaged about 45 minutes a game in the play offs FOR HIS CAREER,.. now we’re talking.

  • RayJr

    Yes of course players have to rest and that’s why they do it after games. They give them off time AFTER and BETWEEN games. Their is halftime and timeouts during games for players to rest remember? They don’t play 48 minutes non stop.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    …And what happened? He went from 27 points a night to 18 before he got traded out of Denver to Detroit. His body broke down. So many minutes with such a heavy offensive burden in Philly. To a lesser extent, same thing happened to T-Mac if you ask me in Orlando. Thought he was going to escape it after he got to Houston, but it caught up to him.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    No…fatigue is also why players get pulled out of games. Coaches have minutes limits on guys during the regular season at times to make sure they’re as prepared as possible for the postseason. If what you’re saying was true, there would be no need for that. Guys would just play all out during the regular season and be ready to go during the playoffs. That’s why teams rest their star players after locking up the number 1 or number 2 seeds in April. To have them rested. Same thing in the NFL. When teams win 12 or 13 games, starting QBs don’t play the last 1 or 2 games to both avoid injury and for rest. You hear commentators during the games “Kobe is getting his rest earlier than usual so that he can play more of the 4th quarter” etc.

    It’s not about mental roadblocks either. Bodies have limits. Simple.

  • RipCity

    He’ll be more efficient if he doesn’t have to play 38.6 mpg. He is more athletic than most guys realize too. Compare his pre draft combine stats with Russell Westbrook:
    wingspan: 6’7.75″ wingspan for both
    standing reach: Dame-7’11.25″ Russell-8’4″

    no step vert: Dame-34.5 Russell-30
    max vert: Dame-39.5 Russell-36.5
    bench press: Dame-13 Russell-12
    lane agility: Dame-11.15 Russell-10.98
    3/4 sprint: Dame-3.34 Russell-3.08

    Russell is faster but Dame can get higher. Since he won’t have to conserve so much energy to play strong the whole game he’ll be able to be more explosive when he’s out there

  • RipCity

    he was a freak we’ll never see another guy like that he was so amazing

  • RayJr

    Its because of age. Break down happens with age. When Iverson was young and in Philly fatigue was not a problem. That is my point. At a young age and in the beginning of your NBA career fatigue shouldn’t be a problem and if it is like you said it was with D Rose they right after the post season he was working on conditioning and taking jump shots and doing drills while he was exhausted so he could push through the fatigue so it wouldn’t happen again. Unfortunately, he got injured so he might not ever be the same. Hope he bounces back and plays the way he used to when he comes back this next season.

  • RayJr

    Yeah in high school and college. Not the NBA until they get older such as Duncan, Garnett, Pierce…

  • LP @ThisisEther

    can’t believe youre think a few minutes of rest don’t matter. If you see any old BULLS games, you will ALWAYS see Phil Jackson resting Michael for ~2 mins in the fourth, and then bring him in to finish. And guess what? The other team ALWAYS rests whoever was guarding Michael because you are COMPLETELY handicapped with -10% chance of guarding Jordan if you didn’t get some sort of rest and he was fresh off the bench.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Yeah, just admit you’re off with this. Because you are. Bottom line, players need rest. If Michael friggin Jordan needed rest, Damian Lillard is okay saying he needs it. If Kobe Bryant, whose summer workouts have been well-documented, needed rest in his 20s, then it’s cool for others to talk about needing it too. And for anyone to say that fatigue shouldn’t be a problem and guys should just push themselves, or that they need a new mindset, that’s pretty stupid on your part. Ray Lewis used to take weeks off after the season to let his body recuperate both from injuries and fatigue of a season. NBA players take time off for injuries to heal and yo get some rest before diving into preparation for the next season. And you’re here saying fatigue should never be an issue. Hilarious. But do you bro.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Minutes played also plays a part in it. People talk about Kobe now and how many minutes he’s played. Same with Garnett and Duncan. What does that also refer to when they talk about minutes played? What it does to the body. It’s natural.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Complete foolishness.

  • RayJr

    If it was up to MJ he wouldn’t have rested. He didn’t pull himself. Remember the Flu Game? Yeah he played while being sick like a dog. But he should’ve rested and not played bc the flu affected his performance right? According to you he should have. What happened in that game again? NBA players are conditioned to play through things like that. That is the difference between them and us.

  • RayJr

    These guys never pull themselves from games and they wouldn’t if it was up to them. They love playing and have that mentality that they need to and want to be on the court at all times.
    Oh did you get fatigued? You need someone to fill in for you?

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    They’d stay in if they could because of their competitiveness. But it would hurt their teams because their shots would be short and they’d give up drives to the basket after their guy blew past them.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Going by what you’ve said, Jordan could have done that for an entire season and he should have been able to. One game doesn’t prove anything. It was a great performance by maybe the best player ever. But it was one game. If he had to wake up two days later and do it again? Highly doubt it would have been possible.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Thank you.

  • RayJr

    Whatever you say Dr Jenk. Go take a breather.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    How about you just sit the next couple of plays out? Let those of us who are in our right minds discuss the topics of the day.

  • RayJr

    You can take over. I actually have a real life job to get back to. Have a nice day.

  • pposse

    “maybe the best” say what now?! – All credibility lost

  • RipCity

    you can’t even do that in video games bro

  • RipCity

    2 hours arguing conditioning online you don’t have a real job lol

  • RayJr

    Not really a job if you enjoy what you are doing and own the company. Who’s talking to you anyways kid? Get back to playing World of Warcraft.

  • Sean Superstar Juan

    Regardless of the “numbers” you have, the eye test proves that Lillard isn’t in Westbrook’s league athletically.

  • LakeShow

    I think 38 mpg is fine for a rook and 2nd yr player.
    Either way, Mo Williams will be taking away at least a few mins from him.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    This is sad, I wont continue this argument. EVEN NBA2K acknowledges that ALL players need rest at some point.

    You are saying that a player should be 100% effective throughout an entire 48 minute NBA game. Come on now. Thats enough shucking and jiving for one day.

  • RipCity
  • spit hot fiyah

    and mccollum

  • LP @ThisisEther

    So from these comparing these stats to Russell Westbrook, what are you trying to say? I’m just asking. Because These are some “so what?” numbers that you have posted, as of now.

    P.S. You are just on a roll today. It doesn’t matter who can get higher, it matters who can get higher FASTER.

  • TR

    Lillard has it all on offense for a 2nd year guy, hopefully his defense improves with the rest.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The lane agility / and 3/4 sprint thing is kind of the whole difference between the two as athletes. Lillard is nowhere close to RW in terms of the athletic skills that effect his position on a play by play basis…
    .
    Really, “jumping higher” means absolutely nothing when that jumping higher doesn’t come with an explosive first step, or the ability to get into the lane whenever he wants. The guy shot 6 three’s a game as a rookie. Which is both a gift (that he can hit that high of a % on that many attempts) and a curse (uhm, that’s not really a sustainable way to be successful unless he turns into Steph Curry all of the sudden).
    .
    The biggest boost he should get from a smaller sample of minutes is on defense. Where he was astonishingly atrocious.
    .
    Plus, really, what does a boosted efficiency really mean? You are going to cut out that production for boosted efficiency? so you are turning him into an average PG……i mean, he wasn’t really that good, he was just a rookie, so it seemed really really good.
    .
    Dude’s PER was only 16.4, it’s not like he was a world beater who was being torn down because he was exhausted. 38MPG is still less than Allen Iverson’s career AVERAGE….by 3 full minutes. Just to put things in perspective.

  • RayJr

    Never said that. Also, no such thing as 100% effectiveness because then players would never miss shots or turn the ball over. You and Jenk have missed the point and don’t get it so let’s move on shall we?

  • goju

    Yeah, because bench press means so much in the NBA. And Lillard isn’t nearly as athletic as Westbrook.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Your credibility was lost months ago. Everyone knows that, with you, it’s all about Jordan and the Bulls, but for those of us who know about a few other players and teams, the proper way to say it would be “maybe the best” because there are other legendary players who have a case as being the best ever.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    That’s exactly what you said lol.

  • pposse

    not really youngster. Only a fool would argue that. This comment i’m replying to was an OfftheWall comment.

  • pposse

    disagree to an extent on your second paragraph. Vertical jump is a pretty good indicator of athletic ability/ potential. One would think that the guy who can jump higher has the potential to have a more explosive first step.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Nice try kid. There are 29 other teams in the NBA not named the Bulls, you should watch some. And there are other players who were pretty good not named Michael Jordan since the beginning of basketball.

  • pposse

    exactly there were pretty good and then there is one who solely sits on top of the hill; you trying to diminish that in any way is extremely foolish.

  • bike

    He just came off his first 82 game+ nba season and like all rookies, realized that’s a sh*tload of games and a sh*tload of b-ball.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Wow lol. Pay attention. There’s just one who sits on the top of the hill…to you. Others have opinions too. Some agree with you, some don’t. Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar all have legit cases. Picking one of them as the best ever isn’t foolish at all. Bill Russell has a case too. For those who say it’s just about championships, he’s that dude. But to each his own. What you sound stupid doing is trying to force your opinion on others and when they disagree, especially with something that isn’t set in stone like this, you calling them foolish. Turns out that if you really think that your opinion should mean more than anyone else’s, you’re the real fool.

  • pposse

    this is hypocrisy…in one thread MJ is the greatest in this one he “maybe the greatest” you can argue just to argue all you want. This could have all ended if you just corrected that mistake.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Why would one assume that exactly? And how often are these guys jumping just vertically? Who jumps higher running full speed off of one foot? Off of two feet? That’s more important. Usually the more agile a guy is, the better his body control, and thus, the better he is at using the height he does get out of his jumps.

    I think we all can see that Westbrook is clearly the better athlete. We have a much bigger sample size then (5) tests that happened on the same day…..

  • pposse

    Or i could sit here and accuse you of having an agenda of taking shots at MJ any time you can…o wait I heard that argument before..i wonder from where?!

  • pposse

    they do those five tests to gauge athletic potential. But yes Westbrook has definately shown to be the better athlete thus far. I’ve heard from coaches and read in different jump training manuals (yes i was that guy back in my teens trying to get those added inches so i could throw down) that quickness and vertical jump is the most telling on your athletic potential. In one jump training manual (and keep in mind i read this stuff now with a grain of salt i understand its not exact science) they refer to jumping off one foot as leaping and two feet as vertical jump. Leaping covers more ground so my thinking is that who can ‘leap’ higher has the more athletic potential, which is most likely RW. The two footed jump is an explosive movement, which is why i’m saying that maybe Lilard has comparable explosion as his is higher than RW’s according to the post above.

    Also guys in the NFL never jump other than WR’s to catch the ball, but they still take those same tests in their combines.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Saying that he’s one of the 4 or 5 guys who may be the best player ever is taking a shot? LOL. Hilarious. Only someone who is too sensitive and obsessive about a player could say something like that. So the only thing people are supposed to say is that he is, without question, the best ever? And anything else is taking a shot at him? Pure comedy.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Link the thread where I said Jordan is easily the best ever and I’ll correct the mistake after I see that I did indeed make that comment.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Well Portland made sure of that… Not only did they pick up CJ McCollum, they also got Mo Williams and recently Dee Bost.

  • pposse

    but see i didn’t really say that. What i did say was Lebron was 2nd best baller i seen which you deny deny deny..you see my point now?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    pposse, what i’m saying is, what makes you think jumping/quickness are CO-dependant? — there is a reason they take those two things separately and say each combined gives the best picture of athletic potential….

  • pposse

    i dont know, i was asking myself the same question right after i sent my post.
    Okay so the reasoning i have is because on a two footed vertical jump there is a lot of force generated to make the movement, same thing with quickness (first step) even though it is a different movement. The force or explosion is the common factor and my thinking is that you can generate the same amount in each movement because your using the same body parts to perform them (legs lower back). Like i said, i’m well aware that i could have misinterpreted this and wrong about it completely. In any case thats the reasoning.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it’s all about the way the muscles in your legs/lower-back (really about core strength in general when talking agility) are used though. you use them differently. that’s why when you speed train they focus on different ways to use the muscles, http://www.athleticquickness.com/musclecontractions.asp , — and then there is also the fast twitch muscles….which again, react differently depending on the action, http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/muscletyping.html .

    Does that make sense? i’m not a doctor, i can’t really explain the intricacies, i just kind of understand the foundation.

  • Tony Taylor

    Westbrook was only 19 or 18 wheb he took the vert test and on top of that he had only been dunking since 17 I bet he would or could have gained a couple inches since then. Dame was already 22 years old and just about done maturing physically so that says alot to me.

  • Tony Taylor

    True look at Wade who westbrook really minds me of in a lot of areas. Both had similar measurements at the combine Wade being about half an inch taller and had 3.5 inches reach on WB, but their verts were about the same but they were so explosive compared to their peers.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah and the numbers are from when RW was 19, and DL was 22
    .
    Same reason Lillard is closer to his ceiling then people think of from a ROY

  • tenzin

    i bet he ll want more mins this year when hes watching MO and Cj off the bench

  • pposse

    i get what your saying and it does make sense.

  • Feez_22

    ? LOL….

    This isn’t freaking nba 2k13 where you can turn off fatigue smh…

    Even the most conditioned athletes in the world would suck wind playing every minute of a double OT full tilt. That’s 58 minutes of running up and down the court playing offense and defense. Jumping, defending, shooting, dunking, laying it in, receiving contact… Go look at the triple overtime bulls nets game in the playoffs… A lot of those guys were sucking wind and they were being substituted regularly.

    Don’t be naive. This isn’t a videogame.

  • Feez_22

    Allen iverson’s V02MAX is something ridiculous. He is a genetic freak. It is well documented… If allen iverson wanted to, he could run the 10k and be a world champion. That is how much of a freak he was. Not to mention he was lightning fast as well. Iverson is not the majority. He is actually the MINORITY when it comes to athletes in pro sports period.

    To grade everyone on a scale that iverson had even though they didn’t have the genetic gift of lungs which could take in and utilize more oxygen per cubic metre than anyone else is again naive…. These guys you see on tv are human. Fatigue is human. Have you seen how tired world class long distance runners are when they finish? They slow down on the last leg because of fatigue.

  • Clos1881

    Do you have facts to back that up?

  • Clos1881

    The finals and playoffs are not the same as I guy saying he would like a few more minutes on the bench during the regular season.

  • retloc

    What about soccer two 45 minute halves with 3 substitutes the whole game? On average they run{sprint} 7 miles a game. I played 7 man soccer where you run 11 miles a game and I never got substituted for. Fatigue wasn’t an issue because we trained

  • Feez_22

    For the majority of professional world leagues, they only have 1 to 2 matches a week. They can thus fully exert themselves in those 90 minutes and then spend 4-5 days practicing. Plus, there is a lot of rest time in soccer for certain players. For instance (depending on formation), defensemen only have to cover their zones & when the ball is cleared, they can jog to midfield and rest until the ball switches possession.

    If you are an nba player (esp an nba guard) and play both ends, you are pretty much running all over the place like a chicken with its head cut off the whole game. Not only that but nba players play 3-4 games a week (with back to backs). That’s 48 minutes a game, 4 games a week for 6 months (not including playoffs) versus high octane athletes.

    Now… i’d obviously say that a 90 minute match is more taxing than a 48 minute ball game. However, it is really a 90 min match versus 3-4 nba games which is what needs to be taken into account. It is about the volume of nba games that is taxing for these players.

    Pro soccer players play a lot too. Maybe 40 league games plus 20-30 with national teams, euro cupsand such. However, their games are more stretched out in terms of when they are played. NBA players play 82 games in 6 months. That is the difference.

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