Given that we live in an information age today, very little can be missed by fans when it comes to their favorite NBA teams. Fans are instructed in what their idols do before matches, you can see how they train and of course, the focus is still on watching matches as well as watching interesting highlights after matches. What is not known much is travel, that is, the way NBA teams travel during a season that lasts a very long time. Due to this truth, a huge number of matches are played and the teams travel all over America.
How do NBA teams travel? When it comes to home games, players travel privately. Most of them have luxury cars and players use private keys or helicopters to avoid crowds. There is no big dilemma when it comes to traveling to visiting fields. NBA teams travel by plane to visit another arena, and ride the team plane back home.
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We take an in depth look at how teams travel around the country to play NBA games and how they get to those games.
Is the NBA the most travelled league?
Yes the NBA is the most travelled league. Each NBA team travels over 40 games outside of home, in which they train and play home games every day during the season. We all know that the USA is a huge country and that there are several time zones that players go through when traveling to certain locations to play games on the away field. No league in the world travels as much as the NBA. People don’t pay much attention to that, but a large number of trips certainly affect players. Of course, over time, players gain a lot of experience, so traveling every few days has become a routine for them. On the other hand, for those young players or players who come from Europe and other continents, this can be a problem until they adjust.
When you travel to as many as 41 games outside your city during the season, the time lost from jet lag is certainly one of the problems that NBA players face. In other popular American sports, such as the NFL or MLB, you also travel a lot, but not as much as the NBA. In these sports, teams also stay for a few days and the number of games is not as large as in the NBA. The NBA league lasts a very long time and the teams that make it to the very end of the season play almost 100 games a season. There is not much time for a break because the matches are played very fast. You’ve barely finished the previous game and a new one is already coming. Many fans will say that the season in the NBA starts only in the playoffs, due to lack of performance because of constant travel.
How many miles to NBA players fly a year
The number of trips is much smaller in the playoffs, which is certainly one of the mitigating factors. Also then, NBA teams travel to teams that are in the same conference as the home team, which is a much better option because teams travel all over the USA in the regular part of the season. Each NBA team travels over 40,000 miles on average over one season. Considering that fact, and the huge number of games NBA teams play during the season, one should pay great respect to the few players who travelled to the Tokyo Olympics this summer just a few days after the end of the season to celebrate the USA in the Olympics once again.
Certain research has shown that travel has an impact on player performance. Allegedly, according to certain statistics, teams that travel from east to west win much less than teams that travel in the opposite direction. The percentage ratio is approximately 45% to 35% concerning the number of games played in the season. We talked about the fact that the problem can be several time zones that teams go through until they reach a certain location to play the match. Teams can come to the matches sleepy and routinely lose the match due to the consequences of jet lag.
Do NBA players fly by private jet?
We have already mentioned how NBA teams travel to their games, whether they are home games or away games. Of course, away games are a much bigger problem. However, what both types of travel have in common is that you come to a certain location with style. Quite expectedly, the player will come to the match on his field in a luxury car, and the players do not lack that luxury even when traveling away. NBA teams, as we said, travel a lot, but there are also certain facilities on these regular trips. Since people travel to the visiting fields by plane, certain norms have been established regarding those trips.
Most teams travel by charter flights which involve direct flights from point A to point B. These are not flights that involve transfers from one plane to another or long waits at airports. Simply when you have such a league in which so many people travel, charter flights must be the standard. The planes on which they travel offer all the necessary comfort for easy arrival at all locations in the USA. Some clubs, like the most trophy-winning NBA teams LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics, have their own specially designed airplanes that allow their players to come on tour with style. There is no need to waste words on the fact that these are certainly very luxurious planes that offer players everything they need for a pleasant flight.
When players arrive at the desired location they stay in luxury hotels. In every club, some people make sure that every trip goes smoothly, be it a plane flight, a hotel stay, a player’s diet, etc. The option to change the competition system in the NBA to reduce the number of trips has been considered for years, but that idea has not been elaborated in more detail yet, and it remains to be seen whether it will be applied in practice in the future.