What do NBA Players do on the Road?
NBA players may appear to have some of the most luxurious lives. Traveling from city-to-city, getting paid to play basketball and practice the game, and living in some of the most expensive and posh cities in the country. These players appear to have it all.
However, being an NBA player isn’t all fun and games. In fact, with an 82-game regular season, an All-Star Weekend play, and countless playoff games, NBA players are expected to maintain a high-level of performance and ability throughout the year and have little time off.
Furthermore, day-in and day-out, NBA players follow a regimented schedule and are expected to be prepared for away games. Below, we are going to take a deep dive look into these travel arrangements and discuss just what do NBA players do on the road.
How Often do NBA Players Travel for Away Games?
The NBA schedule is often set before the start of the new season. As the NBA schedule consists of 82 regular season games, NBA teams and their respective players can expect to travel for 41 games across the season.
And while some teams have easier travel schedules due to proximity to an opposing team, think the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers or the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, for most NBA teams and players, travel is a major consideration and factor in their lives.
Are NBA Players Affected by Fatigue Throughout the Season?
Making it to, and playing in, the NBA is no easy feat. Featuring the best players from around the globe, the NBA is the pinnacle of basketball excellence.
And with players getting paid tens of millions for their abilities, signing multinational sponsorship deals, and being the face of the league, they are often required and expected to perform at a high-level day-in and day-out.
As such, NBA players, their respective franchise teams, and the league, in general, are extremely cautious in attempting to control, and ensure, that these players are healthy, well rested, and best equipped to deal with the rigors of playing in the league.
As a regular NBA season consists of 82 games, 41 of which occur on the road, players must be able to maintain a high-level of performance while staving off the effects of travel, practice, and the physical play of the game. Similarly, these players must be able to nurse underlying injuries and illness without having either affect their ability to play.
And lastly, NBA players must adhere to the team, and their coaches, expectations. Each team and coach will have varying expectations and demands from their players and many of these demands require an adherence to a strict schedule to allow for ample time for practice, nutrition, shoot-around, travel, and game time.
Do NBA Players Have Downtime While Traveling?
While NBA players may appear superhuman, they are, after all, human. And as regular individuals, they require their own personal time to rest, relax, and recharge. And while NBA players definitely have more time for rest and relaxation both during the offseason and between games, they are given a few hours per day on gamedays to rest and recharge.
Typically, NBA players will relax and take some time to themselves on gamedays. This can include jumping on their preferred gaming console, watching some television, relaxing by the hotel pool, catching up with family and friends, and even spending some time to catch a movie.
However, as an NBA players schedule must be extremely regimented and regulate, particularly on game-day to ensure they make it to the game on time, these personal activities are limited to a couple of hours and NBA players are expected to be back to the hotel by a certain time.
How Long do NBA Teams and Players Stay at an Away City?
While NBA teams and players are expected to be on the road for nearly half of the regular season, the amount of time spent on the road can vary. However, in general, most NBA teams and players will spend no more than 24-hours in a particular city for an away game.
Teams and players typically only spend 24-hours at a particular city as their regular season schedule calls for them to be at a new city typically within 48-hours after the end of the game.
However, NBA teams and players will spend longer amounts of time on the road and at one city if they are facing the same team for multiple games, which typically occurs during the NBA Playoffs.
So, What do NBA Players do on the Road?
- Connect with family and friends – frequent travel can be difficult for anyone but it is even more difficult for NBA players, who are expected to be on the road for half of the season. As such, many NBA players will take time while on the road to stay in contact with family and friends, typically speaking on the phone or FaceTiming with the people closest to them.
- Prepare for the upcoming game – on the road, particularly against a rival team or in pursuit of a playoff win, NBA players will spend a majority of their time preparing for the upcoming game. This not only includes hydrating and shooting-around but also watching films on the opposing team to identify their weaknesses and areas which they can exploit.
- Play video games and watch TV – while surprising to many, NBA players are some of the most competitive gamers. Many NBA players will bring along a video game console with them on the road and can be found playing both basketball and other video games.
- Explore the city – while, perhaps surprisingly, not as common, if time allows, many NBA players will take time from their day to explore the local city. Frequently visiting some of the best restaurants, nightclubs, and venues, NBA players will look to see all that a city has to offer while they spend their time there.