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As the name suggests, professional sport is a profession, a full-time profession. Those who imagine that sportspeople take it easy and make a living while having fun are seriously mistaken. For an elite basketball player, it's 5 hours of training a day.

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From the outside, the rhinestones and glitter of the great American basketball league make millions of people dream of the planet. The latter, mainly attracted by the glory and the fortune which the NBA athletes have, do not imagine how the life of a basketball player evolving in the best championship in the World can be. Especially for foreign athletes who are far from their family and friends for a period of 7 to 9 months

Despite the millions of green tickets, they brew with each new initialed professional contract to practice their passion and even if they are not to complain about their living conditions which are optimized for their performance on the floors (air travel is done by private jet, accommodation takes place in luxury hotels), NBA players are subject to many constraints which can weigh on them both mentally and physically. Among them, the sequence of 82 official games (including 41 outside the city where their team belongs) in six and a half months, not counting the rough playoff games for the sixteen teams who achieved the best course after the regular season is undoubtedly the most difficult test to overcome physically for a newcomer to the NBA, whose body is not used to keeping up this pace of competition over time.


On the other hand, once the athletes have gotten used to their new daily routine, a certain routine is established and it is very difficult to break. They live a hundred miles an hour, punctuated by three aspects: travel across the United States (with different time differences to face depending on the destinations), training, and matches. "The first years in the NBA, I was very excited to discover the cities, the rooms, etc. Today, apart from the very big cities that I appreciate, I stay in my room when we are on the move, ”declared last May Evan Fournier, the French international back of Orlando Magic, on the set of the Le Vestiaire broadcast on SFR Sport. “We travel in very good conditions, in the best hotels such as the Four Seasons. You just get used to it and it remains a business trip. We go there for our job. We still go to the restaurant, we organize small evenings between teammates. We do what we want outside of the imposed schedule. In the morning, there is breakfast available to the team. Whether we go there or not is our problem. Then there is a collective video session, followed by training, with a buffet available. The match arrives in the evening, as soon as it ends we take off to land in the next city. And so on… ”continued the man who was the best French scorer in the NBA in the last two seasons, with more than 17 points scored on average per game, to describe his life as a professional basketball player in the USA.

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Although some NBA athletes are considered demigods by their admirers, they are still human beings and are therefore not immune to possible depression. The cases of Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan among others prove it. It even seems obvious that after a while, a form of physical and mental fatigue inevitably settles in the body and mind of these born competitors, who are few to speak publicly of their weaknesses and moments of doubt. Because we must also realize that players are constantly competing with each other for more playing time and responsibilities, which will result in the possibility of signing a more juicy financial contract at the time of renegotiation or the opening of the market. free agents. Also, they are contacted daily by the media and fans, respectively looking for exclusivity to create a buzz and a little attention, such as an autograph, a selfie or even a few words exchanged. If they have no other occupation than basketball and they are not well accompanied by their entourage, these cracks of the orange ball can unfortunately sink, or at least feel isolated from the World. And this, regardless of their economic wealth... Carl Herrera, the first Venezuelan player to walk the NBA floors, and double NBA champion with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995, testified to his experience. "Going to the NBA, I had to adjust for different things: understanding the NBA game, the difficulty of each trip, understanding the mentality of the coach, the change of hours from one city to another, etc. People only see the glamorous parts of life, the way you dress, the car you drive, but they don't know how your life is. You feel alone, distant from your family, and constantly on the move. It was really difficult, and I think the players must have a big mind. So much in Venezuela has prepared me for life in the NBA. "
 
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