Professional athletes have many things to keep track of when competing at the highest level. They need to be able to keep their body in shape, make sure to practice, be responsible off the court, and juggle various deals. However, even more importantly, they need to avoid injury.
Staying healthy is the number one goal for every NBA player, and that includes Jayson Tatum. Fortunately for the Celtics guard, he’s kept in good health. The following article will study how he’s avoided serious injuries, and shed light on how that’s advanced his early legacy.
Take a Break
No player wants to get injured. Not only does it hurt how well they can help their team, but it hurts their career as well. A bad break or tear can completely end an athlete’s season, while a particularly long-lasting ailment can permanently derail their career.
The fear of losing a player forever has greatly changed NBA culture over the past two decades. Where players once took a lot of pride in being workhorses that could go for forty minutes night after night, stars are much more careful than they once were.
Sitting out a few games here and there is much more common than it once was, and it’s greatly helped players stay healthy. Tatum is a prime example of that. While he’s always in when it counts, his ability to rest has allowed him to play in most games throughout his young career.
Tough, but Smart
Tatum is a tough player who loves being there for his team. While he’s suffered a few minor injuries, he’s largely stayed healthy during his first five years in the league. Part of that is a result of his natural resilience, and part of it is a result of his ability to rest.
Tatum played 80 games his rookie season. For the next four years, he played in 79, 66, 64, and 76. That’s incredibly consistent, especially for someone playing at such a high level. However, while Tatum did go on the court a lot, his minutes weren’t quite as extreme.
He played 30.5 minutes a night his rookie year and followed it up with 31.1, 34.3, 35.9, and 35.9. That’s a hefty workload, but it also shows that he did sit out for a large portion of many games. Doing so helped him stay ahead of any potential injuries and kept him in shape.
A Few Issues
Of course, Tatum didn’t always miss a game due to rest or bodily care. He is human, and has had a few smaller issues that he’s dealt with over the years. Though he only had ankle and knee problems for his first two seasons, things got a little worse in his third, fourth, and fifth years.
Playing so much did eventually cause problems for Tatum. Most notably, his ankle issues began to mount. He’s missed quite a few games due to them over the years, and his knee/ankles suffered certain injuries as well.
Beyond those problems, Tatum has also missed games as a result of a groin issue, shoulder problems, lower back contusions, as well as general illness. Luckily for him, none of those ever lasted too long.
His only truly large problem came recently a shoulder injury he suffered in the eastern conference finals. While it was feared he might have surgery, it looks like he’ll be able to push through without going under the knife.
Injuries are any basketball player’s worst nightmare. However, many modern players know when to take a break or sit back and give their body rest. Tatum is one such athlete, and it’s paid off for him in a big way. He’s stayed relatively healthy and only continues to thrive in the NBA.