Each NBA team can have a maximum of 15 players, meaning that a maximum of 450 players are in the League at any one time. It is definitely hard work to get to the world’s premier basketball league, and players take a variety of routes to the top.
Beating the Odds
Symbolic player: You
Having seen the myriad routes that NBA players take to their dream, what can an aspiring young player gain? The first takeaway is that the life of an NBA star is about hard work and discipline. The work simply never stops, from the first time they touch a basketball to their professional days.
As a young player, you have to be willing to work harder than your peers. The odds are not great for any of us to be blessed with height, wingspan, fast-twitch athleticism or any of the predetermined advantage nature can afford us. Thus, we try to overcome any shortcomings by outworking everyone else. How do you become a shooter? You have to shoot for hours upon hours, until you can’t lift your arms and even your mind aches.
The same applies to any other area of the game and you have to become adept at every facet of the game to be a truly well-rounded player, who gives opponents mismatches and nightmares with your versatility. To achieve this, you have to put in more hours and to sacrifice. Be it sleep or your social life, nothing is worth more than your dreams.
Of course, there is a lot more to the game than just on-ball skills. You have to keep your fitness and conditioning at a superhuman level as well. There is no point to having all the skill in the world if you are unable to display them in the fourth quarter. Performing under crunch-time pressure is only possible if you are not winded.
All this work will allow you to show your skills on successively bigger stages, from school sides to club teams and beyond. Thus, it is essential to get an early start and to polish your fundamentals from a young age. If you finally reach the NBA though, you will eventually find that your former dream is but a mere pit stop. Every stage is a new beginning, as you embark on the relentless journey of outworking everyone at progressively tougher and more competitive levels of play.