Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's the Hardest Sport to Play?

Posted by Lee Miller | Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Category: , , |

I love the game of basketball and it has been my favorite sport to watch and play since I was in 9th grade.  Having played baseball, basketball and football growing up, I think it is the hardest team sport to play of the three major sports. Before you begin to doubt my thoughts, please read my reasons below. If you still feel that I'm wrong, please comment on the post.  

Basketball is tougher than baseball because you actually have to be in shape to play. What other team sport has an All Fat Team? The average body fat percentage of players in the 2010 NBA Draft was 7.9%. Yes, MLB players have to hit a 90+ mph ball coming from only 60 feet away, but they are only successful 25% of the time. NBA players, however on average are successful 46% of the time while typically having a 6'6'' defender in front of them. Lastly, the average baseball player only has to field 2-3 plays per game on the defensive end whereas their basketball counter parts will play defense on nearly every possession.

Basketball is harder to play than pro football because you have to play both offense and defense.  True, most high school and some college football players play both ways, but in the NFL thats not the case. There are many gifted offensive basketball players not in the NBA right now strictly because they can't guard anyone (see Jon Scheyer).  If you are gifted on one side of the ball in football you still have a chance. In basketball not so much. 

Another way to determine how tough it is to make it professional in a sport is to look at two sport college stars and see which sport they went pro in.
-Bo Jackson played in the NFL and MLB but not the NBA
-Deion Sanders played in the NFL and MLB but not in the NBA
-Antonio Gates plays in the NFL, but played college basketball at Kent State and played in the 2002 Elite 
-Donovan McNabb plays in the NFL, but played college basketball at Syracuse and played in the 1996 
     NCAA National Championship
-Kenny Lofton played MLB, but also played college basketball at Arizona and was a part of the 1988 Final 
-Tony Gonzalez plays in the NFL, but was a starter for Cal and their 1997 Sweet Sixteen team.

Only 2 of the Top 25 on this list played NBA basketball. Another list has younger players, but only one of its Top 8 played pro basketball.  Without a doubt basketball is the hardest sport to play of the three major sports.  You have to be in great shape, you have to play offense and defense, and most importantly you have to be gifted at both ends of the floor.

Lee Miller
Elite Hoops
"Release Your Potential"

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