Playing In The NBA
Playing In The NBA
Tracy Murray (12-Year NBA Veteran) gives expert video advice on: How hard is it to make it in the NBA?; How grueling is the NBA schedule on a player's body?; Should the NBA season be as long as it is? and more...
How hard is it to make it in the NBA?
It is very hard to make it to the NBA. Less than 1% of the world makes it to the NBA; your top 400 players in the world. That's how tough it is to make it in the NBA. You've got to look at how many billions and billions of people are trying to get into the NBA. There are kids right now on the playgrounds that are growing up wanting to play in the NBA. That's how hard it is.
How grueling is the NBA schedule on a player's body?
The NBA Schedule is probably the toughest thing on a player's body. It's very, very gruelling. Night in, night out, practices, training camps, back to back games. It's tough enough playing one game against the best players every night. To play on that level all of these times, through being hurt, through being injured. It's tough to maintain that level for many years.
Should the NBA season be as long as it is?
The NBA season, as long as it is, it makes sense to be that long because that many teams. There's thirty teams in the NBA and they're talking about expanding it over to Europe so the season will end up being probably longer if they do that. That's what they get paid the big bucks for. We entertain and we try to do the best we can at it.
What is the most important attribute for an NBA player?
The most important attribute of an NBA player is talent. You have to have a tremendous amount of talent. You have to bring something to the table that's special that nobody else has. If you have something that a trillion other people can do, then that doesn't separate you from them and you probably won't make it.
Why do the refs rarely call travelling in the NBA?
Because of the entertainment factor, the refs call less traveling in the NBA than they do in college. The NBA is entertainment. Yes, it's basketball, but the pure part of basketball is college. The NBA, they want to see the show time moves and the dunks and the sports center highlights. So you're going to get away with a couple of the travels because of the potential highlight.
Why do NBA basketball players make so much money?
NBA basketball players make so much money because the game is global. The NBA makes a lot of money, so the players make a lot of money. Major League Baseball makes a lot of money, so the players make a lot of money. It's entertainment, and you look up and down entertainment anywhere. There's the movies - the star makes the most money or a lot of money because the film makes a tremendous amount of money. That's entertainment.
Why are NBA players known for not playing tough defense?
The rules are geared in the NBA, for players not to play defense, that's why they say NBA players don't play defense. The rules nowadays, you can't handcheck, you can't forearm, so what do you do to stop a guy? It's geared to entertain, it's geared for high scores. There's no defense in the NBA now because you can't play defense, not because a player can't. It's because the rules are set in a way that you can't play defense .
Why do people such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban think that the NBA is rigged?
I didn't know Mark Cuban thought the NBA was rigged. Maybe because he feels that he's on the short end of the stick of a lot calls, maybe. I don't know. I think that star players may be able to get away with a travel compared to an average player in the NBA. But I don't think the league is rigged. That's a strong statement.
What is the NBA rule on illegal defense?
The NBA rule on illegal defense is, even their zone is different, they don't want you to zone in the lane. The NBA wants you to score. They want you to play defense, so if you're camping out in the lane and your player standing outside somewhere and you're way off into the lane, that's illegal defense. They want you to stay close to your man so those who can break the man down get to the basket and get layups. It's geared on scoring. They don't want you to play "d" anymore.
What is the decision process like leaving college early for the NBA?
It was very hard to leave school after three years to go to the NBA. You have to weigh the pros and cons. For me the advantages of going was that my family will be taken care of. I will be living out a dream. And this is what I wanted to do in the first place. The second part, the flip side to that is, I wanted to stay. I would be leaving my teammates. The pure part of the game. Coach Harrod was fantastic to me. You are becoming an adult now compared to just being a kid for another year. I just had three of the best years of my life and now I am leaving that. Is it going to be good on this side or shall I stay here for one more year? Injuries, possibly. A lot of double and triple teams. Maybe my stock could tumble. I was predicted to be end of the lottery mid first round. So to me, and my support system with my family, we made the decision to go ahead and fore-go that fourth year.
What is life like for a rookie in the NBA?
Life as a rookie was rough because I went to a team that just left the finals, the Portland Trailblazers. There's no room for a rookie to play with a team like that, that have that many veterans and that many experienced players and they just left the finals. No matter how many times they tell you they need you shooting, they don't need you right now. You're a rookie and I wanted to play. You go to the NBA to play, not to sit and that was probably the first three years were the roughest years of my life.
Who was the best player that you ever played against in the NBA?
The best player I played against in the NBA, in my position, definitely Scottie Pippen. He was the best, he is 6'8" - 6'9", he could handle the ball, very long arms, very athletic. He can do it all, offensively and defensively.
What is daily life like for an NBA player?
The lifestyle for an NBA player is rough you know I mean from getting up in the morning, going to practice, to if you have injuries you have to get up earlier and go in and treat your injuries you have to treat your injuries after work. You have to put in extra work to say you're not playing well, you have to put in extra work, and really get some shots up and work on you're ball handling. You have to hit the weights afterwards and before and all them pains in the middle night after a game to play a back to back the next day that's rough. I mean there are a lot of perks of the NBA life. Also I mean you live in five star hotels, you take chartered flights, you know there's nothing to complain about there. Even though it's rough on your body they try to make you as comfortable as they can so you have no excuses not to go out there and play your best.
What was the best thing about playing in the NBA?
The best thing about playing in the NBA? Definitely I'd say, I was able to provide for my family. It was the salary. It was the whole experience, basically. If it wasn't for the NBA, I wouldn't know anything about a five star hotel or a chartered flight. Or I wouldn't know so many other guys that played the sport. The whole experience was fantastic.