For years, NBA teams have been at a distinct disadvantage while playing on the road. In the 80s, home teams won nearly 70 percent of the time. In the past couple decades that number has hovered around 60 percent. But this year it has dropped.
With just a couple months left in the season, NBA home teams are winning at a historically low rate of 57.4 percent, writes Tom Haberstoth in ESPN the Magazine. Theories abound as to why. Is it the improved comfort of private airplanes? Is it better nutrition? Is it the trend of focusing on sleep science?
One general manager has an interesting theory: It's easier to get laid.
[The manager] calls it the “Tinderization of the NBA.”
“Tin-der-i-za-tion,” he repeats, “like the dating app. No need to go to the clubs all night anymore.”
Indeed, various apps have done for sex in the NBA what Amazon has done for books. One no longer needs to leave home to find a party. The party now comes to you. And lifestyle judgments aside, the NBA road life is simply more efficient — and less taxing — when there aren’t open hours spent trolling clubs.
“It’s absolutely true that you get at least two hours more sleep getting laid on the road today versus 15 years ago,” says one former All-Star, who adds that players actually prefer Instagram to Tinder when away from home. “No schmoozing. No going out to the club. No having to get something to eat after the club but before the hotel.”
Less time chasing women obviously means more time to sleep. But this is about more than extra shut eye—players who aren't spending all night at the club aren't getting shit-faced every night, either. At least they're less likely to. The party is coming to them, but the over-priced bottles of booze and the cocktail waitress slinging them aren't.
Less drinking, fewer game day hangovers, a decreased likelihood for dehydration in the end adds up to improved performance on the court.
Makes you wonder how good road teams would be if players just stayed in, jerked off, ordered room service and went to bed early. Is there an app for that?