Why Do Basketball Players Get Hurt So Easily?

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In today’s NBA, more than in any other era, people are always asking why do basketball players get hurt so easily. The question we will answer in this article is, is this assumption true? We will thoroughly go over the reasons why NBA players get injured so easily and frequently; or is it just the case where these injuries are normal? 

Why Do NBA Players Get Hurt so MuchWhy Do NBA Players Get Hurt so Much?

Many reasons would cause a player to get hurt. Players have different bodies that operate differently, so one thing that causes player A to get injured may not affect player B. There aren’t any blanket reasons that cause player’s injuries, but it will depend on the player and other factors.

Poor nutrition

Your body is a living organism, and as such, it needs nutrients to facilitate different processes. Not every basketball player has fully mastered the art of identifying exactly what nutrients and in what portion they should be consumed to keep their bodies at optimal health and performance standards. 


Some player’s bodies have genetic features that are less than ideal. This causes them to be more prone to some types of injuries than others. For example, there are genes that are linked to the possibility of more soft tissue injuries like ACL and Achilles tendon tears. Not all players have these genes, but the ones that do are more likely to get these injuries.

Poor preparation for the NBA season

Not all players make an earnest effort to keep their bodies in tip-top shape in the offseason while preparing for the upcoming season. This lack of preparation can cause injuries either at the beginning or earlier on in the season because their bodies are 100% ready for the strain of the NBA.

Incorrect workout regime

The way a player works out and the intensity of their workout have a significant impact on how conditioned their bodies are. Guys who spend sufficient time in the gym strengthening their muscles and conditioning their bodies correctly are less likely to get injuries resulting from weakness. Players must have adequate knowledge or knowledgeable trainers present for their workouts because players can even get injured while working out.

Excessive play on tired muscles

Your muscles are more susceptible to injuries when they are tired. Due to the extensive and hard nature of the NBA season, players often play on tired muscles, especially in the cases of back-to-back games or weeks with three or more. Some players will try to play through fatigue or do their best to stay rested and ready for games, but sometimes, it’s not enough to get their muscles back to 100%. 

Hard or bad plays from other players

Basketball, by nature, is a sport that involves a lot of contact, so there will often be collisions between players. There are also situations where players will hit others, either intentionally or unintentionally, and these points of contact can lead to injuries. Basketballers are generally big guys, often over 200 lbs. When these big guys collide or hit each other, that can cause great damage.

A player jumping and landing on another’s foot can lead to a sprained ankle. If a player swipes after a ball and hits another in the face, that can lead to a broken nose. There are many cases like this in the NBA, such as when Kawhi Leonard landed on Zaza Pachulia’s foot in the 2017 NBA playoffs and injured his ankle. 

How Many Basketball Injuries Happen Each NBA SeasonHow Many Basketball Injuries Happen Each NBA Season?

So, how often do NBA players get injured? The amount of injuries suffered will be different from season to season. You can keep track of the players currently injured on the NBA injury report. Some notable players whose current injuries are significantly impacting the performance of their teams are Steven Adams (Grizzlies), and Lonzo Ball (Bulls).

Most Common Injuries in the NBAMost Common Injuries in the NBA

NBA players are susceptible to and experience a variety of injuries. Some players will get injured multiple times, whereas others are fortunate never to get injured or only get injured a few times throughout their careers. Let’s take a look at some of the most common injuries that NBA players have experienced throughout the history of the sport. 

Hamstring Tears 

Unfortunately, hamstring tears are extremely common in the NBA. The Hamstring is a group of muscles located at the back of your thighs and some of the primary muscles that influence a player’s speed and agility. Hamstring tears will sideline a player for months, removing their influence from a team. This tear normally occurs when the fibres of the muscles are stretched beyond their limits and can happen suddenly when running or jumping. Jamal Murray injured his hamstring and was sidelined for the month of November 2023. 

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are one of the most prevalent injuries in the NBA. It is a given though, remember that basketball is a sport of constant running and jumping, so the ankles are joints that are always in use. Additional threats to players injuring their ankles occur when players jump and land on another player’s foot or awkwardly on the sides of their ankles. 

Finger Sprains

Sometimes, you will notice that players wrap their fingers individually or wrap them together. Sometimes they do this to either prevent or protect sprained fingers. You can’t play basketball without your fingers, so when you are suffering from a finger spring, your dribbling and shooting instantly become affected. You can injure your finger through contact with other players or if the ball hits the tip of your finger with force. 

Knee Sprains

NBA players use their knees more than most of their other joints. The knee is one of the body’s most fragile joints, so because of the high impact that comes from jumping and landing if players aren’t careful, they develop severe injuries. Knee injuries and foot injuries, in general, are most often found in players who play the 5 and 4 positions. It isn’t limited to them though, as other players can also develop knee injuries.

Why are There More Injuries in Modern NBAWhy are There More Injuries in Modern NBA?

Some people believe that the modern NBA is a league filled with softies. It seems like this topic has been around forever, especially amongst the older guys who were fans of the game from a bygone era. But is this really the case? Is this current crop of NBA players more injury-prone than the players of the past? Or is it just the case of how we view the game today?

Not more, just more notable players

A point of view on this matter from current fans is that there really aren’t a lot more injuries in the modern NBA than in the past. Instead, they argue that the only difference currently is the visibility and the significance of the players who are getting injured. It is no secret that social media and the free press offer fans 24/7 sports news coverage, so every injury is right there for everyone to see. 

In today’s NBA, there are way more stars and superstars playing than in past years, so it can be argued that the chances of these stars getting injured are higher than when the league didn’t have as many notable stars. In the past, if lesser-known players got injured, the media wouldn’t publicize it as much, and the fans wouldn’t care as much.

Not wanting to play injured

The view and stance players have taken of late regarding their careers and how injuries can shorten their careers have changed from the past. Because of this, players are reluctant to play injured compared to the guys of past years. Past NBA players would not always sit out with some of the injuries that current players sit out with, so it gives fans the perception that they were not as injury-prone as current players.

More media

The media landscape has significantly evolved over the last couple of years with the rise of social media and instant media updates. Along with journalists, the teams and the players also contribute to the reporting of injuries. Since information on injuries is so readily available, it gives people a false sense of more injuries, because the media did not cover some injuries in the past.

5 Most Injury Prone NBA Players5 Most Injury Prone NBA Players

There are some notable players in the league who are considered to be injury prone basketball players. Here are the top 5:

1. Kawhi Leonard

Leonard is known as the king of load management. Some people say he’s so injury-prone that load management is a necessity for him. 

2. Paul George

PG13 is Kawhi’s running mate in LA, but unfortunately, he also has trouble staying in tip-top shape. Over the last 3 seasons, he has played a total of 97 regular season games.

3. Anthony Davis

AD is considered one of the league’s most injury-prone players. Charles Barkley nicknamed him “Street Clothes.”

4. Joel Embiid

Joel has only been healthy for one of the last 6 playoff runs (2020). For all another playoffs since 2018, he had at least one injury. 

5. Kyrie Irvin

Since entering the league, Ky has injured almost every part of his body. He has injured his foot, shoulder, finger, knee, biceps, hamstring, quad, eye, thigh, ankle and back. 

Wrapping Things Up: Why Do Basketball Players Get Hurt So Easily?

Basketball is a sport that puts a heavy strain on various parts of the body. The constant running and jumping alone can cause injuries, plus added to this is the fact that there is so much aggressive contact between players. It really isn’t a case where basketball players get hurt easily, but instead, it’s that the sport provides multiple opportunities for injuries to occur.  

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Why Do Basketball Players Get Hurt So Easily?
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Why Do Basketball Players Get Hurt So Easily?
Wondering why basketball players get hurt so much? Read the most common injuries that NBA players have experienced and notable players in the league who are considered to be injury prone basketball players
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Hoops Addict
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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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