NBA: Looking ahead
This isn’t to say outright that the league doesn’t have the data to support its claim, but it is and should be, concerning that they aren’t publishing it alongside this statement. It appears as if the NBA is relying on its clout as an organization to make a statement trusting that many will take for truth. And in the world of science, it’s much more complicated than that and probably another reason why the league hasn’t released its findings.
"“Like, if we’re all waiting for this to be evidence-based, and for the science to support it, we’ll be doing it 10 years from now,” One former NBA Sports Science Director told The Athletic. “That’s how long it takes to get our research. And then the next research paper disproves it. So in elite sports, we’re early adopters, we can’t wait for science and research. We can use the concepts of base science and apply them. But if we wait for evidence, we’ve missed. We’re fired because we haven’t stayed ahead of the curve.”"
The conscientious observer will note that this comes at the heels of the NBA’s new player participation policy and that all of this lines up with the league preparing for new television negotiations for new contracts to kick in in 2025. Something influences all of this, whether directly or subconsciously.
Where do things go from here? This statement might have slipped under the radar for many, but the fact that it’s out there isn’t nothing. This should have provoked further discussion but the NBA’s brevity in the statement didn’t really facilitate that.
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Still, the league goes on, and while the fans and media should demand a little more on this matter, that probably won’t happen. Still, the league at least should be held accountable for statements it makes regarding science because it contributes, or at least should contribute, to a larger conversation.