NBA's Home-court advantage affected by players sliding into the DMs
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NBA’s Home-court advantage affected by players sliding into the DMs

Social media, like most things in life, can be great and also downright depressing. But social media has allowed people that likely would’ve never connected in real life to have conversations online. At least, that’s how most NBA players use social media as it has allowed them to connect and apparently hook up with women in different cities without even leaving their hotel rooms.

In an excellent ESPN the Magazine article by Tom Haberstroh, he details how players don’t need to go to clubs anymore while on the road because they just send messages to women online via Instagram or Twitter. This in turn has reduced the effectiveness of home-court advantage as players now get more rest because they aren’t spending late nights in clubs. Instead players are just resting in their hotel rooms, waiting for their date for the evening to come over.

From Haberstroh:

One general 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 somnoething to eat after the club but before the hotel.”

Home-court advantage still has its merits. There is a reason why the Spurs and Celtics are trying to unseat the Warriors and Cavaliers respectively for the No. 1 seed. But as LeBron James and the Cavs proved in the NBA Finals last season, winning big games on the road isn’t unheard of, so the mystique surrounding home-court advantage is not like it used to be.

And while the whole idea of home-court advantage not being as advantageous as before, because players use social media to find a partner for the night and don’t need to leave their hotel rooms sounds comical, Haberstroh actually crunched the numbers to prove it to be correct. There are other factors as well, like teams flying private, players not drinking alcohol as much at they used to and how teams monitor a player’s health so they know when to rest him. But according to Haberstroh, road teams are winning a record 43.3 percent of their games this season, which is a big jump from the all-time low of 32.1 percent in 1987-88.

Sliding into the DM’s is often used in hilarious connotations but apparently, it has actually benefited players both on and off the court. Social media is truly quite magical.


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