Is Tinder The Reason NBA Players Are Playing So Well On The Road Lately?
Home-court advantage used to be a real thing in the NBA. Back in the late 1980s, NBA teams who played at home won almost 70 percent of their games, and they won those games by an average of about six points. If you were a team playing at home, there was a good chance you were going to walk away with a win.
That percentage has dropped to an all-time low this season, though, and currently sits at about 57 percent. Home teams are still winning more often than not, but they’re not winning nearly as much as they were in the past and it seems road teams have figured out a way to keep it together during trips away from home. And ESPN just published a piece that speculates as to why that is.
There are probably all kinds of reasons for it. Today’s travel methods are way more efficient than they were in the past. Teams can board chartered flights before and after games and make their way around the country with ease. The same couldn’t be said 20 years ago when players were taking commercial flights on the mornings after games.
But one potential reason for the drastic reduction in home-court advantage may be, believe it or not, Tinder. Yes, Tinder. One anonymous NBA general manager who spoke with ESPN said the “Tinderization of the NBA” has made all the difference in the world. Instead of going out during road trips to party and try and hook up, many players are now staying in and using Tinder and other dating apps to make hooking up easier. They no longer have to spend all night out at the club. They can bring the club to them and conserve a lot of energy.
“It’s absolutely true that you get at least two hours more sleep getting laid on the road today versus 15 years ago,” one former NBA All-Star told ESPN. “No schmoozing. No going out to the club. No having to get something to eat after the club but before the hotel.”
While we would guess that this is not the sole reason why road teams are playing better than ever this NBA season, we suspect that it could be playing a small part in it. NBA teams have also become a lot more involved in what players are doing when they’re not on the court, which also plays a part in it. From what they eat to how much they sleep, teams are invested in all aspects of players’ lives. ESPN points out that many players are also shying away from drinking and doing other damaging things to their bodies. All of these things work together and improve road teams’ chances.
Gone are the days of road teams playing sluggishly simply because they’re on the road. Modern technology has helped teams play better when they’re away from home, and as it continues to improve, so will the chances of these teams winning games. And when that happens, home-court advantage could very well become a true thing of the past.