The World’s Most Dangerous Profession: NBA Point Guard

What three things do Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Eric Bledsoe, Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Patrick Beverly, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, and Devin Harris have in common?

The answer is that they:

1. Are all highly-paid professions athletes;
2. They all play point guard for NBA teams; and
3. They all have suffered serious injuries that are keeping them out of action for extended periods of time.

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This list includes the very best at the position and some of basketball’s greatest stars in the likes of Paul, Rose, Westbrook, and others, the starting point guards on nine of the 30 NBA’s teams, including several legitimate title contenders, and in the case of the LA Lakers, all three of the point guards that were expected to play the position for the team during the current season and two additional players who were forced into playing the position but who were then subsequently injured while doing so (but as point guard is not their real position, they are not on this list).

The injuries suffered by these players are almost all serious injuries requiring surgeries and/or long-term rehabilitation, such as the significant knee injuries suffered by Rose and Rondo, Westbrook and Bledsoe, the torn muscles and tendons suffered by Blake and

Farmar, and the broken bones and dislocations suffered by Holiday and Paul.

Has there ever been a rash of serious, debilitating injuries to so many players, including so many star players, who play one position, in any professional sports league, in memory?

10 or 15 years ago, there was a British TV series being shown on US cable that was a fascinating description and re-creation of the most dangerous and deadly jobs in history. It showed how hard working people, some in recent times, some who lived several centuries ago, earned a

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meager living by putting their bodies and lives in continual jeopardy, in those days without the aid of much in the way of protective gear, safe equipment, or government safety regulations. Workers were basically seen as fungible property, and if the first worker was maimed or killed, he would be carted off and a replacement forced in, generally at far less than a living wage.

NBA point guards are paid millions of dollars and have skill sets that are not easily replaced, as has been seen in LA as the Lakers are now using their sixth-deep starter at point guard. But, as teams take the court for each game, seemingly resulting in a new injury to one point guard or another on such a regular basis, one can not help but think that this is more than mere coincidence, that there has to

be a reason as to why so many players, including so may star players, who play this one position, are suffering significant injury on such a regular basis.

Not so long ago when the NFL was faced with a rash of serious injuries to star quarterbacks, the league studied the problem and established new rules designed to protect quarterbacks. Does the NBA need to look into their own epidemic of injuries.

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