Quijano: NBA dabbles in Voodoo science

Jingo Quijano
·3 min read

I don’t always agree with Fox Sports analyst Nick Wright when it comes to basketball, especially when it comes to his favorite player.

Lebron James, who else?

Nick is the one who laughably announced that Lebron James had already overtaken Michael Jordan as the greatest player of all time (GOAT) back in 2018, just because Lebron shoots a better percentage, has more points etc.

I think he has me blocked on Twitter. I have tried to bust his chops a few times, but no response. I could be wrong, of course. Anyway, his bias is just too egregious it makes me cringe.

MINUTES. But last week, something he said hit the nail on the head and I couldn’t help but agree wholeheartedly. The subject was minutes restriction of NBA players.

The case in point was LA Clippers All-star Forward Paul George, who had to be taken out of the last few minutes of the game against the Brooklyn Nets just because he had already played his allotted minutes.

George was coming off a toe injury and was placed on the usual minutes restriction protocol, but he had been playing so well and was the reason his team was still in the game in the dying minutes.

Well, turns out all that doesn’t matter. As long as you have used up your minutes, you have to stop playing.

Nick called it “pseudo-science” and he was spot on.

ARCHAIC. It’s definitely a throwback to the old days, which is quite strange. Wright correctly pointed out that this strange system has been in place for the past 30 years and invoked what happened to Michael Jordan as shown in the “Last Dance” documentary.

Jordan was coming off an injury and was playing quite well and wanted to finish a game, but the trainers took him out because he had played his allotted 18 minutes.

I recall this same issue got some attention last year, when rookie sensation Zion Williamson was taken off a game he had taken over just because he was not allowed to play a single minute more because of the minutes restriction. Consequently his team, the New Orleans Pelicans, lost.

I mean, who comes up with these formulas anyway? Is there a chart we can defer to?

Like if it’s a toe injury, only 25 minutes. If it’s an ankle injury, only 18. But wait, what if it’s not the big toe? How about a pinky? Put him in for 29 and not a minute more.

C’mon, guys. In this day and age where we can craft a vaccine in one year, with all the advances in sports science and medicine, does anybody really believe that if Paul George played just one more minute— just one single minute, his body would break down and he would be inutile for the rest of the season?

Voodoo science is what I call it. Hats off to you, Nick Wright, for pointing this out.

VERBATIM. “I wanted to keep going. I was ready to go.”—Paul George, post-game interview. (tv.espn.com)

LAST ROUNDS. Are on my favorite Oscars—Atty. Oscar Tan Jr. and his son “Third” who recently celebrated their birthdays. Cheers, guys!