Bo Hamburger
Years ago

Aron Baynes, basketballing cyborg

Really interesting read on TrueHoop today about Aron Baynes and the Spurs trialling some new, semi-secretive biometric sensor thingy (also lots of reference to the AFL).

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Mick  
Years ago

Saw that.

It's interesting that the AFL is pretty much a world leader now in sports science.

Makes you wonder if any one player in the NBL would even be approved for gameday under even the most basic of AFL's game elgibility restrictions like the skin folds tests.

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paul  
Years ago

Um, yes.

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Mick  
Years ago

I wouldn't be so sure. Look at the skin fold tests of guys like Brad Newley or Joe Ingles at their respective draft combines. They are considered lean and athletic by NBL standards but had the some of the worst body fat % scores for guys in their draft classes.

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paul  
Years ago

I know who the guys are that run Perth, NZ, Wollongong and Melbourne's programs, these guys are every bit as high quality as what AFL clubs have.

In most cases they dont have the same resources of course, but they still know how to train an athlete. Some of Perth's stuff I saw when I was over there was highly impressive, after that I have no doubt their guys are world class athletes, capable of doing things most AFL players their size couldnt.

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Mick  
Years ago

Sorry to drag this thread off-topic...

I'm not doubting that, Paul, but do they have as much power within the organisation as their equivalents in Aussie Rules? You never hear of a guy not playing in an NBL game because they didn't pass a non-injury related fitness test, but it happens all the time in aussie rules.

Then compare the physique of an AFL player at say age 23 with an NBL player and it's night and day. The NBL guy will generally by skinny, yet at the same time flabby, while the AFL guy will be a chiseled, lean, explosive machine ie. the way a basketballer should look.

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Mick  
Years ago

FWIW that spiel shouldn't be aimed just at the NBL. You see guys getting around in Europe, the NBA, and other leagues that clearly aren't in as good a shape as they could be. Whereas in Aussie Rules you don't see it nearly as much.

I think basketball still has a ways to go in the realm of sports science. Everyone's a bit behind.

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paul  
Years ago

I think you'd be surprised by how well built a lot of NBL guys are, lined up against an AFL player of the same height they dont look out of place. Although there's no doubt some NBL clubs seem to put more emphasis on this than others.

Re NBL guys not playing, I think youll find their minutes at the professionally run clubs are monitored very closely by fitness staff. There is rarely a need to pull the guy with a niggle or conditioning issue in basketball, just adjust his role, whereas in footy it's much harder to hide.

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Bear  
Years ago

Blicavs is now playing AFL, was on the Boomers squad and is a middle distance runner who is tearing up every guy he plays on with his endurance.

It's horses for course Mick, sometimes you just find a special athlete who is heads above, but there is a reason guys playing on grass are explosive and fit for endurance.

What's the good of pounding a young hooper into the ground on a hard surface, destroying his knees and killing off his/her potential just for a skin fold and the ability to sprint for 400 metres?

Basketball court is about 40 metres!

Remember the sport, then fit the athlete to it, goodness me Babe Ruthe was pretty damn good at baseball wasn't he, what do you reckon his skin fold was???

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Muzz Buzz  
Years ago

despite this tech AFL injury frequency is on the increase

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Mick  
Years ago

Fair enough.

I guess also in basketball there is no relegation / promotion so your spot is more or less assured every week.

You can afford to take it easier in the gym because there isn't someone in better shape with a similar skillset yapping at your hind like there is in Aussie Rules.

Reply #430258 | Report this post


paul  
Years ago

That is true, although there are minutes up for grabs, and NBL basketballers would train a lot harder in-season than AFL players, who need greater time to recover from the weekend's game. They are two very different fitness types.

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Mick  
Years ago

When you look at most teams though there are a handful of guys in our league who could stand to do a bit more work in the weight room.

I'm not telling them to do 100000 box jumps on concrete every day, Bear, just saying that when you look at young guys like Abercrombie or Blanchfield who are two of the most explosive and athletic guys in our league (or Newley and Ingles when they were here) they just look to be carrying a little bit of flab that could be muscle, and their games would benefit from spending that little bit of extra time in the weight room.

If you picked two of the most "explosive" players in the AFL, you probably wouldn't be able to say the same thing.

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PlaymakerMo  
Years ago

Great article. Very interesting.

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paul  
Years ago

As mobile 198cm and 200cm athletes I think those two would be amongst the cream of the crop in the AFL, although Im not sure Abercrombie's two-foot jump would work so well on a footy field!

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Isaac  
Years ago

Stamina would be more of an issue in the AFL (centre of the ground especially) so it's hardly surprising. And in basketball, pure skill or size can override so much. Take a look at a photo of Durant's physique, or Chandler's legs, or keep in mind a giant like Shaq.

One time after watching CJ Bruton do his grandpa shuffle down the court in game footage, my brother said CJ was chiselled. Surprised me.

So I asked him "So, would Shaq have a six-pack?" and will never forget him laughing in response.

"No."

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Mick  
Years ago

Yeah I think that's the trump card Isaac: skill.

You can overcome a lot more in basketball with pure skill than you probably can in Aussie Rules.

I know from personal experience, if I was going to play in a basketball league appropriate to my (low) skill level and (poor) level of fitness, even if I was out of shape or carrying a bad knee, I'd be able to find a way to be effective relying purely on my (miniscule) level of talent.

If I were to attempt the same thing in an equivalent grade of Aussie Rules I would get promptly bent over and marauded in the nether regions, repeatedly until I begged to be removed from the situation.

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MACDUB  
Years ago

Pretty sure that picture of Chandler is photoshopped.

Mick, Abo is carrying hardly any flab. I dont know if you have seen him up close but he is pretty ripped. ( 7% bf maybe ). Doesnt have heaps of muscle but he doesnt need it.

Basketball isnt about having mass or good muscle size.
Its about having the most efficient strength to weight ratio.

If a 200 pound guy and a 250 pound guy of the same height can lift the same weight..the 250 pound guy is essentially carring wasted or useless mass.

This may not apply to some players though because a guy like DWill is pretty heavy but it helps him because he has much more size than other pgs but is still fast. Wouldnt be such a desirable situation if he wasnt as fast though.

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daneo  
Years ago

Pero Cameron would definately disagree with your skinfolds argument

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Anonymous  
Years ago

This is also a bit off topic, but who do we think are some that would be able to go head to head with an AFL player fitness and shape wise? I remember once seeing Weigh and Dowdell down at West Lakes, and actually thought that Weigh looked huge compared to Ben.

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dull  
Years ago

It's a funny topic, considering AFL clubs have/and look to recruit basketballers based on their pure athletic ability with the hope to mould them into afl players...

But I doubt the reversal would happen... An afl player "poached" on their athletic ability and formed into a basketballer

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billo  
Years ago

Being a "chiseled, lean, explosive machine" is ideal for AFL but not so much for basketball where the level of skill is so much higher and where a centimetre or 2 can be the difference between making and missing a jump shot (nothing in AFL is anywhere near that precise). Didn't Darren lose his shooting touch that season he really bulked up? And guys like Gaze and Oscar Schmidt weren't exactly known for their feats of strength in the weight room.

Obviously there are exceptions, and plenty of NBA guys are ripped, but comparing body shapes of NBL and AFL players as like for like isn't really fair.

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Mystro  
Years ago

"Pero Cameron would definately disagree with your skinfolds argument"

hahaha the truth,

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YouknowME  
Years ago

Actually Gaze broke a benchpressing record for Spurs back in the day, god knows how!

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Not sure about the bench press, but Gaze definitely broke the Leg Press record at Washington Wizards prior to his first 10-day contract. He described it in his book 'On the Road with Andrew Gaze'.
Hilarious story!

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billo  
Years ago

Actually Gaze broke a benchpressing record for Spurs back in the day, god knows how!


Zero chance The Factor is out benching The Admiral.

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Isaac  
Years ago

Pretty sure that picture of Chandler is photoshopped.
I don't think it is. Lighting might misrepresent things though.

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daneo  
Years ago

google an image of Tracey Macgrady legs also.. like sticks!

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Mick  
Years ago

Kobe's sitting on some pretty thin pins as well.

Leg muscle mass has very little to do with explosiveness or jumping ability at all.

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LanceUppercut  
Years ago

Agree Billo, skills required to play basketball relatively well are far greater than that to play football, have you ever seen a non-basketball playing footballer take to a basketball court? Its not pretty, whereas it doesn't take long to get the basics of football down, it just a matter of speed and strength that separates the professionals in aussie rules. (there are exceptions of course such as Gary abblett jr who are exceptionally skilled)

Some friends that I would consider quite fit and athletic who play high level aussie rules for clubs will occasionally join in at local basketball games, but they often complain that while the court is much smaller than a football field, there is little to no opportunity to rest on a basketball court, you are always in motion, always alert of your opposition.

But I agree, that there are some NBL players that don't seem to realise that a professional athlete requires hard work on and off the court, whereas this seems to be ingrained in NBA clubs and PLayers, where getting into the league is just the 1st step, you have to work your ass off to get court time and be competitive.

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LanceUppercut  
Years ago

quote from the article

"A stroll behind the bench confirmed every Spur had a small bulge"

would not have guessed that

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Bear  
Years ago

A glowing bulge...

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Go to an NBL pre-season session and then come back and comment on whether you think they don't work hard as athletes.

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skull  
Years ago

I recently started up a kids basketball competition in FNQ,a lot of the kids have been playing soccer and AFL,i was surprised that they struggled to last a full game of bball.

The constant transitional challenge of the game of basketball......in a confined space is something of a mental and physical challenge.

"There is no where to hide on a basketball court"

Reply #430341 | Report this post


Mick  
Years ago

I'm not saying they don't work hard, anon, that would be preposterous given the lifetime of work they have put in to get to this level.

I'm just saying that there are guys whose games would benefit from more work in the gym, as opposed to Aussie Rules where everyone seems to be as good as they can get physically.

You can't tell me Abercrombie or Blanchfield wouldn't see benefit from adding more muscle. Guys would think twice when challenging their drives, believe me. There aren't a lot of guys in the league who are flat out scary, if you know what I mean.

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Bear  
Years ago

I think that it is a balance Mick, you can't risk losing your shot or athleticism in basketball just to gain a physical advantage if your body isn't really geared up for it.

Some physiques are what they are and in our game it is more important to be able to use your skill, technique and ability.

That's not to say that some players would not benefit from building more muscle mass, on the contrary, if it is something that enhances the way they play of course it would be a good idea to pursue it.

Just that it is a fine balance in a sport where touch and feel is so paramount IMO...

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Isaac  
Years ago

Mick, and if it changed their game? Would Abercrombie want to sacrifice what he can do in order to body up more? Look at Durant.

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Mick  
Years ago

Guys like Blanchfield and Abercrombie are very athletic (for the NBL) and have honed the ability to shoot the ball to go along with that. While they are skilled for their height, when I think of those two guys I don't think "super talented", I think, "rare natural gifts + the addition of long range shooting through hard work and practise."

I think both would be able to get to the rack more with a bit more work off the court in the weight room. Not only would it improve their back to the basket game (Abers has one, Vinny doesn't), primarily it would make them more of a "wrecking ball" when attacking from the perimeter. Especially with guys like that because I think the intimidation factor is missing from their game. I'm not saying they need to look like a Venice Beach muscle man, just add a little bit more muscle. Just my two cents. I don't think it would affect their shot or slow them down at all.

Lebron shot 40% from deep last season. And he has the physique of a genetically-engineered super solider.

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