Skip to content

Winderman: Stern shouldn’t blame players for rash of injuries

May 8, 2012, 9:15 PM EDT

Rose injury

For weeks now, as his players have blown out knees like NASCAR cars blow out engines, David Stern, make that Dr. David Stern, has been telling us this has nothing to do with his fiendishly concocted lockout-compacted schedule.

Granted, the players signed off on that very schedule, so it’s not as it there isn’t dual complicity.

But Monday, on Jim Rome’s television show, Stern offered another juicy morsel, one that that may cut to the crux of the issue.

First, to provide context, when asked about a possible relationship between the injuries and the compress schedule, Stern said:

“I think there’s some part of it that may be related to that. Some part of it is luck. Some part of it is lack of preparedness by our players before the season began. It’s a combination of things.”

Now we break out the telestrator to the circle the juicy bit:

“Some part of it is lack of preparedness by our players before the season began.”

Hmm, so the players who were given a mere two-week training camp were not in the same shape as when previously given a month to prepare?

But, again, the players are equally complicit there, having agreed to such a timetable.

The lesson, however, is what happened before those camps opened, namely NBA facilities being off limits to players during the lockout.

Yes, there were insurances issues of locked-out players working out in unlocked team gyms. That’s what waivers are for.

But no non-NBA facility comes with NBA-level trainers, NBA-quality physicians.

Based on the single sentence from Stern, the NBA willing facilitated its perishable commodities to rot.

Which is why the next work stoppage shouldn’t be a “lockout,” can’t be something that separates finely tuned athletes from the means that keep them that way.

Or did the NBA think there never was going to be a resumption of play?

Stern’s comment — again, “Some part of it is lack of preparedness by our players before the season began” — comes off as a condemnation of players not valuing their careers enough to keep in NBA shape.

But NBA shape requires NBA facilities. A league that pampers its players with state-of-the-art training resources should have appreciated as much.

The hindsight is a postseason becoming a battlefield of attrition.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

  1. cosanostra71 - May 8, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Stern is such a d-bag

  2. xLith - May 8, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    This article is a reach…

  3. slowclyde86 - May 8, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    “Stern’s comment — again, “Some part of it is lack of preparedness by our players before the season began” — comes off as a condemnation of players not valuing their careers enough to keep in NBA shape.”

    Sounds about right for any number of players (by no means all or most). Nowitzki had to sit out how many games before he was in shape? There were others. Stern listed it is one potential factor among others. Are you saying players cannot be responsible for their own conditioning without “nba level trainers”? You can’t be serious.

  4. mungman69 - May 8, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Come on David, admit it.

  5. ezmagic - May 9, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    David Stern is a greedy clown. How can you trust a guy with the smirk he has on his face. He needs to figure out how to bring in better quality refs and punish them when they consistently suck like FIFA does with it’s refs. I wish I could screw up all the time at work without getting reprimanded. Must be nice

  6. marlin1894 - May 9, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Steve Nash looked pretty good this year, Bynum was injury free, maybe the players are to blame, they’re responsible for their bodies.

    • justbhouse2 - May 9, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Two players out of 450; nice sample size.

      Wouldn’t Derrick Rose, Al Horford (injured while working out), Dwight Howard, and Ray Allen be a better sample size.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Handing out NBA's postseason awards
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Williams (3734)
  2. K. Love (3694)
  3. L. James (3664)
  4. D. Wade (3649)
  5. S. Curry (3479)
  1. C. Anthony (3247)
  2. R. Rondo (3105)
  3. G. Dragic (3006)
  4. R. Westbrook (2960)
  5. K. Durant (2820)