The Layup Line » NBA All-Star Inury Team

NBA All-Star Injury Team

David Leonard

With NBA All-Star balloting in full swing and given that the NBA is slowly but surely turning into a league where “injuries happen,” I thought I should come up with an injured/questionable/doubtful/probable (hurt but will likely play) All-Star Team. Since fans are unlikely to see these players, even as the league justifies its quick return through appealing to fan desires to see the game back on the court, I thought we could celebrate the greatness of the league by reflecting on their absence:

Click through the slide show below to see the starters on this NBA All-Star Injury Team. However, a quick glance at this team’s bench gives you some insight into how potent an injury lineup has emerged a quarter of the way into this season. Bench players: Forwards: Charlie Villanueva; Michael Beasley; Andrea Bargnani. Centers: Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett. Guards: Jason Kidd; Jose Juan Barea, Baron Davis; Eric Maynor. While being flippant here, it is imperative to think about how the 2011-2012 season is one where injuries happen.

Curry is starting to look like his generation’s Steve Nash, another guard whose early career was plagued by nagging injuries. Nash eventually righted himself when he began playing with big men like Dirk Nowitzki and Amar’e Stoudemire who excelled in the pick and roll game. Time will tell if Curry finds his big man counterpart.

For the most-part the media has failed to reflect on the injuries, on how these injuries are the result of the money grab. Yet, it is crucial to not only highlight the cluster of injuries, and the types of injuries that seem to point to the impact of a non-existent training camp and the wear and tear of a compressed season, but what this reveals about the NBA and the sports-industrial complex (not to mention global capitalism). It is emblematic of the ways in which profits are put in front of people. It is emblematic of the logic of Neoliberalism capitalism, which identifies markets, consumer needs, and profit margins as the primary compass for economic relations. The fact that players are suffering injuries in alarming rates is a testament to the ways in which bodies, particularly bodies of color and women, are exploited and abused for sake of money within the sports industry and beyond. As a tenet of capitalism, and reflective of cultural obsession with wealth, it is no wonder that the ideology of profits ahead of people is so visible on NBA benches. So, if you get tired of the NBA’s new motto, “where injuries happen,” maybe we should start calling it “The NBA: profits before people”

via The Layup Line » NBA All-Star Inury Team.

The Layup Line » Is The 2011 NBA Season A Money Grab?

Is The 2011 NBA Season A Money Grab?

by David J. Leonardon January 6, 2012

The NBA is where injuries happen. While still early to measure the playoff implications, or more importantly any long-term impacts on a particular player’s health, the NBA lockout, the shortened preseason, and the tight packed schedule are having an immediate impact on the health of the league’s players and the quality of its games.

Players like Eddy Curry or Jerome James are easy fodder for fans and NBA analysts, but as the recent retirement of Brandon Roy reminds us, many NBA players risk their careers in attempting to get back on the court as soon as possible so their team can make a playoff run. Speaking on the long-term impact that Roy’s ill-fated return from during the 2010 playoffs had on his career, New York Times’ Rob Mahoney makes this salient point:

Few figures in the basketball narrative are treasured as highly as the Willis Reed archetype, and Roy has taken to the role of hobbling star time and time again.

The image of Reed hobbling onto the court during the 1970 playoffs is stuff of legend. As is the sight of a flu-ridden Michael Jordan willing his team to victory during the 1997 NBA finals. Both of these moments made Sports Illustrated’s top-10 Playing With Pain Moments, and Reed’s valiant return was chosen as the greatest all-time.

Until the 2011-12 season finds its heroic or Reed or Jordan moment, this money grab masking as an NBA season is only spurring higher health care costs and declining fan interest.

Take TNT’s Thursday night game that pit the Heat against the Hawks. The game ultimately ended after 3 OT periods, although the game was anything but thrilling. With LeBron James and Dwayne Wade sitting out, the most compelling match-up was Chris Bosh v. Ivan Johnson. The NBA isn’t where amazing happens, since much of amazing is sitting on the bench wearing street clothes.

The impact of injuries is evident as one scans ESPN’s rumor tab, which is a long list of injuries. No more reports on potential trades or trends in the league – just a medical report. Of course, you don’t have to bother with “rumor tab” when you can just go to CBS Sports Basketball injuries. I did just that, looking at the page on the evening of January 5, 2012. The number of players out for a single game, doubtful, questionable and probable is pretty astounding. Each of the following players are out for their team’s next game:

Ray Allen,

LeBron James,

Dwayne Wade,

Tyrus Thomas,

Correy Maggette,

Jason Kidd,


Continue reading (to read about many more injuries) at  The Layup Line » Is The 2011 NBA Season A Money Grab?.