In sports, ability remains availability | Bonehead Picks

In sports, the most important ability remains availability

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New Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has acclimated himself to his new team well. He has been efficient early this season and reignited the thought that he is the best NBA player in the Eastern Conference now that some guy named LeBron James has headed west. Of course, the reason that Leonard is in Toronto is largely due to a disagreement and fracturing of the relationship between Leonard and the Spurs organization over the handling of his quadriceps injury. The injury kept the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year from playing most of the season and it serves as a reminder to the importance of durability in sports.

One of the recent headlines of the 2018 NFL season is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees becoming the NFL’s all-time leading passer. That record is a testament to Brees’ great consistency, production, and most importantly his durability. During his 13 year career in New Orleans, Brees has missed just two regular season games despite his relative lack of size and the serious shoulder injury that he sustained during his final season with the San Diego Chargers. Because he has been on the field for the Saints for over a decade, the Saints have had quarterback stability.

LeBron James has become as known for his ability to avoid serious injury as his versatility on the court. Although he is a rare physical specimen, he also works out to prepare and prep his body for the large amount of workload that is required of him every season and postseason.  Another all-time great, Tom Brady, is also known for his intensive conditioning regimen in order to be effective at an advanced age and to avoid injury. These two legends of basketball and football show the importance of taking care of your body in order to stay healthy and durable for a lengthy career.

Among the worst labels that an athlete can receive is being “injury-prone”. It is a sign that you cannot play your sport consistently because of various injuries that is suffered by that athlete. Unfortunately, guys like Sam Bradford, Troy Tulowitzki, and Kris Letang have gotten reputations in their respective sports of not being able to play healthy seasons and make long contributions to their teams. While the prototypes for durability are sports greats like Cal Ripken Jr and Brett Favre, it is very important for professional athletes to be available to their teams throughout the season. The most important ability for a professional athlete remains availability.

 

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