As all true NBA heads know, there is never a bad stretch in the NBA calendar. It goes from preseason to regular season to postseason to draft to free agency to offseason so fast you barely have time to find out which team Rajon Rondo is playing for this year. It’s all great. But if I did have to choose the worst time for the NBA, it’s late August through mid-September.
Free agency has wrapped up for all but the bench fillers. Training camp hasn’t even started, much less real preseason games. Players have finished their offseason vacations to whatever island or tropical location suits them. Some have crammed in all the family time they won’t be able to during the season. Others are now bored of scrolling through Instagram all day choosing the right pictures to like on model’s accounts.
Now it’s time to get back in the gym. And an NBA player can’t get back in the gym without documenting it on video.
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As a service to all of us I will not be linking to any videos of this nature. If you clicked on this, you know where to find them. You likely can’t avoid them even if you try. I don’t need to further spread this epidemic.
Now, these videos vary widely in terms of content, tone and level of production. In my eyes (and for the sake of space) I will put them into three overall categories.
The first consists strictly of workouts. These could feature the NBA player lifting weights, running sprints, pushups, pullups, jumping ropes or boxes, boxing, yoga, basically any physical but non-basketball activity. I have yet to see swimming and diving or horseback riding from these videos but they would count here.
These are probably the most diverse videos, given how many different lifts and activities there are in the world. And since the trainers to these players are getting paid an ever-increasing amount to make their clients look good, they’re pushing ever harder to create the most bonkers workouts possible. Most likely, these aren’t necessary. But they look good on Instagram, so here we are. (The fact that trainers themselves can and will get large followings through these videos is just one of many corrosive side effects here.)
Here is where the player’s fame level and contract size can really shine through. This category leaves greater room and better rewards for production quality. If you can get 1080p video, crisp editing and some fancy effects or filters (slow motion is the standard here), the better chance it will be aggregated by other sports accounts with a flame or flex emoji. Got a friend from high school who doesn’t have a job but makes beats on Fruity Loops? Get that man on the payroll, you’ve got soundtracks to your videos. Now watch your follower count jump.
The next is individual practice, or basketball-specific training done by oneself. Now, (and this is extremely important, it doesn’t qualify for this category if you don’t fulfill this) you cannot be less than perfect in these videos. I cannot stress this enough: it requires 100% perfection.
If you’re shooting, you will not miss a shot. In dribbling drills, every hit on the floor will be an even strike and every time the ball touches your hand it’s smooth as silk. Your footwork will resemble either Hakeem Olajuwon and or Kobe Bryant, depending on your size. You are the greatest NBA player of all time and this video will prove it.
There’s less production in these videos, as basketball moves are generally more interesting in real time with fewer frills. It can be done, but too much will only distract from some of the greatest basketball ever played and your next contract is depending on this. Play it safe.
Perhaps the most popular of all summer NBA videos, these are simply when a bunch of names you recognize from the association all play pickup together. The terms “runs” is fitting because they are absolute shit. I miss NBA basketball every day, but never enough to watch this nonsense.
If I was there to watch in person, I think it would be fairly exciting. Then you actually get to see them screw up somehow. Somebody will miss a dunk or airball a three or just straight up trip and fall. That’s some real late-summer basketball I’m interested in. We don’t get that. These look more like the second category, just with a bunch more names crammed into one like a bad Marvel movie.
Allow me another analogy. Say the NBA regular season is like reading a good book. Would you like to read an author’s first draft of that book? That could be interesting I suppose, it would be choppy and worse than you’d expect. So that’s what the NBA preseason is like. What would these videos be in that analogy? It’s like a live feed of the author’s computer screen, but you don’t see all the imperfections and different thought processes they went through to create their work. You just get to see them happily punch “.” after a sentence they know they nailed. Technically, it’s a highlight and shows how good they are at their job. But count me out.
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I have to give one special shoutout. A massive thank you to Damian Lillard, who has perfectly backed up my views here in one simple video.
None of this is necessary for us. I don’t have to know what my favorite players are doing every day of the year. That being said, NBA training camps start this weekend. Now the real basketball can begin. I’m ready.