The NBA may not have the personnel to withstand player losses that will come with team outbreaks. One of the largest threats to the NBA’s well-being resides in one of its strengths. That is, the league has risen to prominence so rapidly in part because it is a player- and personality-driven sport. And it is that way because teams are not composed of large armies of faceless individuals who can easily be replaced. Rather, basketball is a great sport specifically because singular performers have such a large influence. And part of this is reflected in the size of NBA rosters: 15 players, of which 13 are active at any given time. Because of this, an outbreak among three players on a given team would be much more challenging to compensate for than in the NFL, with its larger roster (53 players) and practice squad reservoirs. Given the interconnectedness of the schedules and frequency of travel, an outbreak on one team could have ripple effects throughout the league, complicating the schedules of other teams.
October 25, 2021 | 4:00 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: The Sixers have stopped fining Ben Simmons for missed games and practices given that he is now out for personal reasons, one source close to the situation says, confirming a report this afternoon from @Ramona Shelburne on the NBA Today. More from me: marcstein.substack.com
I had the Hawks at No. 6 in my Power Rankings heading into training camp, which I think was higher than most preseason prognostications. Then I got some grief from a reader saying that I should have had you guys lower because the new rules designed to cut down on free throws awarded to players who initiate contact would affect your game greatly. How are you adjusting so far to the way games are being called?
Trae Young: I think it’s a more an adjustment on both sides, but also just me playing my game. I’ve been in a lot of meetings with [NBA head of referee training and development] Monty [McCutchen], trying to make sure of what’s a foul and what’s not. A lot of the [contract I draw] is a foul. Me going in front and stopping on a dime and defenders continuing to run into me, that’s still a foul. The league is good at that — being open to communicating about anything. Especially if a guy has questions. It’s not just me. I’m sure a lot of other guys have called and just tried to get more clarification on what’s a foul and what’s not.
So you’re not worried about a different sort of whistle this season affecting your game? Trae Young: Nah. I’m not, to be honest with you, even thinking about the refs and the foul calls. I can score without the free throws. But I’m a smaller guy, so a lot of guys like to be physical with me. I like using their aggression to my advantage. That’s really what it is.