Wiggins Rookie of the Year, but not this way.

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  • That is an ugly list right there. Just a reminder of how fragile a pro sports career is. Thank goodness for guaranteed contracts.

  • @wrwlumpy

    I saw that Jabari Parker is out for the season. He was having a pretty good season and it is always sad to see such a promising player get injured.

    Wiggins and McLemore have been playing well this season: Wiggins better than anticipated and McLemore finally playing the way we thought he could.

  • The only reason that it’s perceived that Wiggins is playing better than expected, is because of the East coast pundits that tried their best to convince us that Wiggins was inferior to Parker. We who saw his talents on full display last year for 35 games, knew he was destined for super stardom.

  • Players have started to outgrow this game… meaning… the super-athlete today, with all the training and rehab, are jumping higher, making more acrobatic moves. It’s a great thing to watch, but it plays havoc on all the joints. Jumping higher just means harder compression, and the reps are so much higher, too.

    Football is a sport players have outgrown, too. You have 400 lb linemen running 4.4 40-yd dashes, and guess what happens when two of those guys collide? Turns out their skeletal structure, joints, cartilage, tendons… haven’t kept up with the speed and impact of the game.

    Athletes reach a point where they are over-training their bodies. Sure… they can perform better, but parts of their bodies can’t keep up with the latest, greatest training techniques which help them push a little harder. The muscles perform better, but outperform the supporting structure.

    Focus should be more on diet, to help promote health in the entire body and reduce inflammation.


    JMHO-I think we are at the point where muscles are able to exceed what tendons and joints could take over a long time period.

  • Is all the ball catching up with these kids earlier now? Year around ball, AAU circuits, etc. Interesting. I wonder if we will see a trend in this moving forward.

  • @drgnslayr

    A brilliant insight written just right.

    Forest Allen came to a similar conclusion in a much narrower dimension of height in the mid 1950s and advocated a 12 foot basket. He argued that the game was not invented with the expectation that footers would play and substitute dunking for shooting and layups, and goal tending for X-axis defense.

    No one listened to Allen, because they liked the dunk and it was easy too outlaw goal-tending.

    But the principle of the solution applies to what you are articulating.

    Sports rules, especially its rules of dimensions of the game, permitted actions and equipment, are parameters that lead to the way the game is played.

    If the rules, permitted actions, and equipment are yielding a game with wide spread injury, then the rational and humane choice is to alter the parameters to eliminate the injuries.

    The reason I gave up on football is that I see no way to alter the parameters to end the head injuries that EVERY player is incurring to one extent or another, without ending up with something that is not really something approximating football.

    Hence, its better to stop football and invent a new game.

    I understand that sunk costs in football make this unlikely in the short term, but over time football is doomed, unless the head injury situation is solved. Science is going to get better and better at delineating the adverse affects of playing football. Over time, the game will wither away from ever decreasing participation, until it becomes something akin to boxing. Not really a sport. Just a quasi-criminal betting enabler.

    Always remember the Mezo-American court in the Yucatan you and I so wonder about. It is empty. The sport died. The local kids in the barrios are not putting up vertical rings and playing Mezo-Ball in Mexico.

    Sports, especially games, that do more harm than good wither and die overtime in most cultures in history. Sometimes they only die completely when the culture itself dies, but die they do.

    Alternatively, sports, especially individual contests, endure. Athenian civilization was eclipsed by Rome. Rome was eclipsed by Byzantium. Byzantium by the Seljuk Turks and so on.

    But track and field continues, sometimes suspending, but never really going away.

    About the only team game that might be said to have transcended succeeding cultures is soccer though I have never studied soccer.

    The great hope I have for basketball is that it might be the first team sport I know to survive succeeding cultures.

    But the very thing you describe–the athletes outgrowing the parameters of the game to the point of inevitable acute injury–pose a grave threat to it ever doing so.

    And this is why leadership with sunk costs in the game–leadership and those others making huge monies out of the game–should now look seriously at changing the parameters of the game to come as close to making it free of acute injury as possible.

    There is no reason not to change from wood to a synthetic that is engineered in conjunction with shoes to enable compression to protect joints.

    There is no reason not to apply engineering standards to physical training to govern the upper limits of athletic performance so as to avoid the injury threshold to joints.

    Not everything one does in training has to focused on breaking limits in a team sport.

    The pursuit of excellence within injury free limits can be and ought to be the way the game is continually redesigned.

    Think about it.

    Naismith drew up the rules for a non-contact sport without tackling precisely to avoid the injuries that would occur from boys trying to play football in doors in the winter time.

    This purpose of Naismith is at the very heart of the virtue of the game.

    Basketball is a game about how to play and compete without the purpose being to bludgeon an opponent, or oneself.

    We don’t need a game to teach us how savage we are.

    We need a game that teaches us, enlightens us to, how wonderful we can be to each other even when competing.

    Basketball played the right way does this.

    Basketball continually redesigned to produce this outcome IS basketball.

    That is the essence of the game.

    Continuity with that essence is the only moral/ethical justification for continuing the game.

    The resources put to it could otherwise be better spent feeding, clothing, housing and educating our people.

    But the good news is there is every reason to think that the game can be continually redesigned to achieve the profound purpose Naismith designed into the game from the beginning.

  • I contemplate all of this… constantly!

    I have a 16-month old boy who is already showing signs of being a competitive athlete. He’s the size of a 3-year old with huge hands and feet. He will have some height and he has serious body. Since he was 12-months old he has enjoyed stuffing a mini-basketball in a kid goal… palming the ball with one hand and extending it outward like Dr. J used to do. I scratch my head wondering how he figured out that gesture. When watching football and someone scores a touchdown, his hands go straight up to help the officials with the call. He’s muscular, coordinated and smart.

    When he was born, the first words spoken to him by family was “linebacker!” He was a thick, strong, muscular baby at birth. The first words out of my wife’s mouth were “no!” “No football in this house!” I totally understand her, but was a bit deflated by the limitation.

    We, both, have gone through the sports, one by one, and assessed their risks. Football, ice hockey, boxing and MMA were at the top of risky sports. Next came basketball and tennis. Then came baseball, soccer and track.

    I informed her that we can influence his choices, but he’s going to be drawn into what he wants to play (or not play) and we will have to live with his choices. We can override his decisions, but that will backfire if we do. He is a very physical kid, just like his old man, and he already likes hard contact. He leads with his head, and he’s headbutted me several times now and loves it. He is drawn towards hard contact, just like I was at his age. The kid has a pretty good punch right now and gut bombs me every day! We never taught him to hit like that. Some behaviors must pass through the DNA… I’m certain of that.

    I can’t imagine he will steer away from the hard contact. It is something very addictive to those with hard physical behavior. I was addicted to it from Day 1. Football, boxing, martial arts… anything with heavy contact I loved and was drawn to.

    I’m sure this is the same story with a lot of people. This must be driven by a gene… I’m certain of that. You either have it or you don’t.

    So how do we maintain a society with people like myself? People with this inclination have to have an outlet to use it. I’m certain I would have turned my energy towards violent crime if I didn’t receive my fix through sports.

    The NFL is suddenly focused on a safer game. It is just a matter of time before the helmet is melded into the shoulder pads. They already are starting to make the connection, and do so in other sports like auto racing. I’m not sure what can be done to help sports like basketball. Part of it is the focus has turned away from basketball fundamentals towards just raw athleticism. Everyone is in search of the super, high-flying dunk, or crazy blocked shot. SportsCenter searches out these plays for the highlight reel, instead of smart individual or team plays. I fear we will never have another player like Larry Bird again. This is where the focus needs to be, but it isn’t… so the focus is on raw athleticism. The NBA is a mere shell of what it used to be when players were slower and less athletic.

    I hope my kid plays baseball or soccer. Both are great games… though there are plenty of injuries in these sports, too.

  • @drgnslayr

    A lot of this research is already in place. The USOC has several training facilities and partnership with other institutions where advance research is being conducted by bio engineers, doctors, dieticians and other scientists to study Olympic sports and find ways to improve performance and production while minimizing/reducing the risk of injury. They use advanced technology including high speed video, full body instrumentation, advanced computer modeling as well as advance medical scanning technologies to study cause and effect of sports activities. You should check it out, it is like science fiction.

    One of the studies is the effect of using the head in soccer. I am not sure if a definite conclusion has been reached yet but there are many who think it should be outlawed since the repeated impact on the brains is thought to cause permanent damage. Luckily the header, or at leas the one that could cause damage, is not something that is done repeatedly in games…lucky for me since I played varsity in college and competitively well into my 30s. 😞

    I know that there is ongoing research on basketball but I am not sure about football since it is not an Olympic sport. Most of the research about football will happen as a consequence of all the lawsuits and the need to have a baseline for determining damages. I personally think that anyone that plays football and is not aware of the risks, even will all the protective gear, is just being disingenuous and willingly ignoring reality; same thing for full contact sports such as boxing, ice hockey and MMA, just to name a few.

  • Just my opinion, but the body of an 18-19yr old is not prepared for the NBA schedule (except in RARE cases). One-and-done is doing no better to protect kids than the previous policy.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Thanks for posting on the USOC. More info for us worried parents!

    Yeah, headers seem like they up the risk level, but there is some risk in all sports. Can’t totally avoid the dangers, and to some degree life is about assessing where the dangers are and what path offers more safety.

  • Banned


    Thanks for the look-in to your life. I rather enjoyed the read, and your point on contact and so forth.

    The thing is we can never really blame a parent or person for standing against a said sport because of the danger. However can we really stop a child or young person from playing what sport they want? Like the issue of football. More parents are making the decision not to let their young boys play the sport, for fear of injury. However injuries can happen in every sport, hell injuries can happen walking out the front door of your house. I played a lot of football growing up. To this day when August starts to roll around and the season starts to change. I can smell football in the air. Sometimes I’ll say in front of my wife it smells like football and she’ll just look at me like I’m crazy. People that have never played the game can’t understand it. It’s no different with basketball. You can smell it too, or sense it. These sports are more than games, they develop and change our lives. Do you understanding what I’m saying?

    Of course things have changed and so has society. I can remember many times as a kid getting hurt was just something boys did. 😉 Not today stub a toe and your a bad parent if you don’t take them to the Emergency room. LOL

    I guess in the end as a parent you have to weigh the odds and decide what you can live with and what you can’t. However in the end the kid just might do what they want to anyway.

  • @DoubleDD

    When I was young we only had one toy…it was called OUTSIDE

    Now, with all the video games, less and less kids are playing outside and they sit inside playing those mind-numbing games or playing with their iPads/tablets and physical activity is restricted to those with parents that encourage some type of safe, organized sport. Soccer is considered a fairly safe sport and thus it is growing the fastest.

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