“I’ve never once missed it,” Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray says. “That explains my professionalism, my attention to detail. I gotta have it. Every game day, gotta be the same. Whether at home or on the road.”
Says Toronto Raptors veteran Chris Boucher: “It’s just to make sure that I’m in the right state of mind. It makes you feel good. I never miss sleep.” The thing is, NBA players almost have to be good at day-sleeping, because their schedules are profoundly abnormal. It’s easy to forget that they work nights, with most games starting at 7:30 and finishing around 10 p.m. They might not get home, or to the hotel, until midnight—or possibly 2 or 3 a.m., if the team flew immediately after the game. And of course there are, uh, lifestyle factors in play, too. Pro athletes are known to enjoy the nightlife—yet even for those that don’t, it can be a challenge to wind down after spending two to three hours hopped up on adrenaline. And because most teams hold a morning shootaround—sometime between 9-11 a.m.—they can’t just sleep in on game days.