Professional basketball players compete in leagues around the world, although the National Basketball Association is by far the most popular.
Several players have made a great living playing ball in their home country, and recently NBA players like Josh Childress opted to play overseas for more money – however the NBA still represents the greatest professional basketball league in the world.
The top players, both American born and foreign born compete for a world title every year.
The NBA currently has 32 franchises around the United States. Each year 16 of those teams (8 from both conferences) advance to the playoffs. Playoffs consist of a best of seven series, where the team first to win four games advances to the next round.
The NBA Finals take place every year in June and conclude another great NBA season. In the offseason foreign and collegiate stars will enter the NBA draft where the hope of becoming a professional athlete in the NBA starts to look like a reality.
NBA rosters only allow 15 players, and of those 15, only 12 may suit up on any given night. The competition to make one of these 15 roster teams is intense.
Throughout the NBA season, players will participate in pre-season games and an 82 game regular season. If the team’s record is in the top eight for their conference, the players on that team will partake in postseason play. The 82 game schedule is divided up into half home and half away. So, obviously professional players in the NBA travel a lot.
One of the most difficult things to do for professional players is play a back-to-back schedule. Every franchise in the NBA plays a number of these throughout the season.
Back-to-back games are not only difficult because you play two games in two nights, but also because usually one of the two games is on the road. So the professional basketball players must broad a flight immediately after their first game and travel through the early hours of the morning.
During a typical day, a professional basketball player will wake up, eat a healthy breakfast, and prepare for the game later that night by watching film or relaxing. A lot of players take an early afternoon nap to relax and gain energy. After a pre-game meal, the player arrives at the arena two to three hours before tip-off and prepares to stretch and partake in a pre-game shoot around.
The player must make sure he’s warm and ready to go. Overlooking any pre-game routine such as eating right or stretching can expose the body to injury, especially for professional athletes who put so much stress on their body for half of the year.
Professional players make a lot of money to play the game of basketball. Some people argue that they make way too much money. The debate is in the air, but the increased price in tickets directly relates to player’s salaries. A typical player in the NBA makes at least one million dollars a year. Superstars range from 10 to 20 million a year.
Professional players, especially superstars, make even more money by being signed to shoe contracts and sponsors. However the extra money means more time and commitment to commercials and public appearances. Professional leagues usually put a lot of PR into charity events with public appearances by local professional basketball players.
Becoming a professional basketball player is very rare and difficult. The natural talent and work ethic that professional athletes possess is truly extraordinarily. Too often we do not appreciate all the work and commitments they are exposed to.