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LeBron James traveling to the ESPY awards.

How Do NBA Teams Travel and Who Pays for Hotel Rooms?

The NBA of the 21st-century offers fans a more candid look at the players and the product than nearly any other era of the game. Fans can see what a player does before the game, during the game, and after the game thanks to social media and expanded television coverage. One aspect of the NBA that might remain a mystery to fans, however, is how NBA teams travel to every game.

NBA players travel across the country, but those who are not in the know may not know what this entails as they do so. 

Home games allow the players to get to where they need to be on their own. Players might arrive in fancy cars or beat-up old ones, depending on is driving. In bigger markets, a player might take more extreme measures to get to the game. Kobe Bryant reportedly took a helicopter to some games to avoid the traffic down below. When you make eight-figures a year, the options are endless. 

Home games supply the players with a proper routine that allows them to get to every game at the same time and do everything they need in the comfort of home. Because of this, the home-court advantage doesn’t just apply to crowd noise and location. The entire lead-up to the game is different than a road trip.

How do NBA teams travel to away games?

The NBA may be full of high-flyers, but this doesn’t mean they can take off in Sacramento and land in New York. In prior eras, players had to wait in airports and fly commercially unless their owners had another way to do so.

Now, chartering private jets to get from point A to point B is the norm, and the jets come decked out in luxury that is made for these larger-than-life people aboard. 

The Sacramento Kings, for example, recently rented a private jet that is owned by rap superstar Drake as they traveled overseas to India . The plane, called “Air Drake,” is filled with custom features that reportedly cost the rapper $185M.

It is a Boeing 767, but a look inside shows that this is no passenger liner. The plane is filled with lounge seats and tables where the players could stretch their legs and relax instead of a squeeze behind seats that people two-feet-smaller than them struggle to fit in. 

While other planes may not be quite as fancy, the planes that the players are taking to games are nicer than a commercial flight, and owners are expected to get them to every game in style. 

Food and comfort

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While the owners are the ones who are supposed to get players around the country, their responsibility does not end there. Players need to eat, and while they all can afford to eat on the road, the team is the one who supplies the funds for meals.

Certainly, if a player wanted to live the high-life and eat at a fine-dining establishment they could go out of pocket, but stingier players can stretch their $133 per diem to not only help feed them but get some pocket money, as well. 

Owners also provide the lodging for the players, and this means putting them in four and five-star hotels. With one of the greatest unions in the world behind them, players have ensured that even when they are on the road in a grueling schedule, they are afforded every luxury within reason.

Not only do their hotels meet this, but players who need to get to the game are also afforded luxury buses or other vehicles to help get them there in style. 

Life on the road for an NBA player can be tough, but with chartered flights, nice hotels, and even a little bit of lunch money to hold them over, the road life in the NBA has some perks. And in the end, all of the expenses fall in the lap of the owners , not that most of them have any trouble paying.

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Tim Crean started writing about sports in 2016 and joined Sportscasting in 2021. He excels with his versatile coverage of the NFL and soccer landscape, as well as his expertise breaking down sports media, which stems from his many years downloading podcasts before they were even cool and countless hours spent listening to Mike & The Mad Dog and The Dan Patrick Show , among other programs.

As a longtime self-professed sports junkie who even played DII lacrosse at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, Tim loves reading about all the latest sports news every day and considers it a dream to write about sports professionally. He’s a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan from Western New York who mistakenly thought, back in the early ’90s, that his team would be in the Super Bowl every year. He started following European soccer — with a Manchester City focus — in the early 2000s after spending far too much time playing FIFA.

When he’s not enjoying a round of golf or coaching youth soccer and flag football, Tim likes reading the work of Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, Chuck Klosterman, and Tom Wolfe.

how do nba teams travel

Basketball Noise

How do NBA teams travel?

By: Author James

Posted on Published: October 15, 2021  - Last updated: December 28, 2023

When it comes to home games , players travel privately. Most of them have luxury cars and players use private keys or helicopters to avoid crowds. There is no big dilemma when it comes to traveling to visiting fields. NBA teams travel by plane to visit another arena, and ride the team plane back home.

We take an in depth look at how teams travel around the country to play NBA games and how they get to those games.

Is the NBA the most travelled league?

Yes the NBA is the most travelled league. Each NBA team travels over 40 games outside of home, in which they train and play home games every day during the season. We all know that the USA is a huge country and that there are several time zones that players go through when traveling to certain locations to play games on the away field. No league in the world travels as much as the NBA . People don’t pay much attention to that, but a large number of trips certainly affect players. Of course, over time, players gain a lot of experience, so traveling every few days has become a routine for them. On the other hand, for those young players or players who come from Europe and other continents, this can be a problem until they adjust.

how do nba teams travel

When you travel to as many as 41 games outside your city during the season, the time lost from jet lag is certainly one of the problems that NBA players face. In other popular American sports, such as the NFL or MLB, you also travel a lot, but not as much as the NBA. In these sports, teams also stay for a few days and the number of games is not as large as in the NBA. The NBA league lasts a very long time and the teams that make it to the very end of the season play almost 100 games a season. There is not much time for a break because the matches are played very fast. You’ve barely finished the previous game and a new one is already coming. Many fans will say that the season in the NBA starts only in the playoffs, due to lack of performance because of constant travel.

How many miles to NBA players fly a year

The number of trips is much smaller in the playoffs, which is certainly one of the mitigating factors. Also then, NBA teams travel to teams that are in the same conference as the home team, which is a much better option because teams travel all over the USA in the regular part of the season. Each NBA team travels over 40,000 miles on average over one season. Considering that fact, and the huge number of games NBA teams play during the season, one should pay great respect to the few players who travelled to the Tokyo Olympics this summer just a few days after the end of the season to celebrate the USA in the Olympics once again.

how do nba teams travel

Certain research has shown that travel has an impact on player performance. Allegedly, according to certain statistics , teams that travel from east to west win much less than teams that travel in the opposite direction. The percentage ratio is approximately 45% to 35% concerning the number of games played in the season. We talked about the fact that the problem can be several time zones that teams go through until they reach a certain location to play the match. Teams can come to the matches sleepy and routinely lose the match due to the consequences of jet lag.

Do NBA players fly by private jet?

We have already mentioned how NBA teams travel to their games, whether they are home games or away games. Of course, away games are a much bigger problem. However, what both types of travel have in common is that you come to a certain location with style. Quite expectedly, the player will come to the match on his field in a luxury car, and the players do not lack that luxury even when traveling away. NBA teams, as we said, travel a lot, but there are also certain facilities on these regular trips. Since people travel to the visiting fields by plane, certain norms have been established regarding those trips.

how do nba teams travel

Most teams travel by charter flights which involve direct flights from point A to point B. These are not flights that involve transfers from one plane to another or long waits at airports. Simply when you have such a league in which so many people travel, charter flights must be the standard. The planes on which they travel offer all the necessary comfort for easy arrival at all locations in the USA. Some clubs, like the most trophy-winning NBA teams LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics , have their own specially designed airplanes that allow their players to come on tour with style. There is no need to waste words on the fact that these are certainly very luxurious planes that offer players everything they need for a pleasant flight.

When players arrive at the desired location they stay in luxury hotels. In every club, some people make sure that every trip goes smoothly, be it a plane flight, a hotel stay, a player’s diet , etc. The option to change the competition system in the NBA to reduce the number of trips has been considered for years, but that idea has not been elaborated in more detail yet, and it remains to be seen whether it will be applied in practice in the future.

how do nba teams travel

How Often Do NBA Players Travel?

  • Post by: Hoops Addict
  • Last updated on: August 4, 2023

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The life of celebrities, including NBA players, is pretty much an open book for their fans. Their social media accounts provide snapshots of their lifestyles, and this information is readily consumed by their followers. One thing that remains largely a mystery, though, is about bouncing from city to city all over the United States (and one city in Canada). How often do NBA players travel ? Do they fly, ride the bus, or any other means of transportation? Buckle up because this article answers most of your questions about being on the road as an NBA player.

Are NBA Players the Most Traveled?

Without a doubt, the NBA and its players are the most traveled out of everyone involved in professional sports. Each NBA team theoretically plays 41 games away from home, and many of these places have different time zones. Each team also has to play the Raptors up in Toronto, so they travel to a different country just to play basketball!

Constant trips are exhausting for many players. Because of the chaotic nature of the NBA schedule, teams frequently have long road trips on the opposite coast. The players may end up not sleeping in their own beds for a couple of weeks! Back-to-backs on long flights with multiple hours of time zone difference are frequently used to cram 41 games in, so the players are often on the road.

To make up for it, these players get the best treatment boarding on chartered planes, five-star hotels, and luxury buses to take them there. Still, constant travel can take its toll. Compromised hydration is a common effect of airplane travel, and switching through time zones may cause jet lag and disorientation. This is why road teams often lose to home teams, especially in the tail end of a back-to-back.

Are NBA Players the Most Traveled

How Much Do NBA Players Travel?

The NBA schedule is often set before the start of the new season. NBA teams play 82 games (unless lockouts and other stuff are going on), 41 games at home, and 41 games on the road. Therefore, how long are NBA players away from home? Since the NBA season is around six months, that means players are away half the time, approximately three months, and probably more.

However, the NBA has visited Mexico City in recent years, and teams play regular season games there. One team is assigned as the “home” team, which means they are still traveling while technically playing a “home” game. That’s how much travel the NBA players get.

Because of their proximity to the opposite squad, certain teams enjoy better travel schedules. Examples are the Lakers versus the Clippers and the Knicks versus the Nets. Even yet, when a Los Angeles team plays a game in New York (or vice versa), the visiting squad must travel roughly 2,500 miles on a five-hour flight to make it happen! 

Now, here’s a question: Do NBA players drive to games when they are at home? Yes, they mostly do. The majority of players do not live near arenas, which means they also have to travel by car (or any form of transportation) to get to games. 

Well, of course, unless you’re Kobe Bryant, you can charter a helicopter to take you to games. If you did not know already, Bryant often took chopper rides from his Orange County home to the Staples Center in Los Angeles to avoid the dreaded LA traffic. If Kobe chose to drive, that’s nearly a 100-mile roundtrip and possibly eight-hour traffic just to get there. 

How Long are NBA Players Away from Home?

Since the season lasts a little over six months, from late October to mid-April, it’s safe to say that players are away from home more than half the time. That’s because NBA teams often travel to other cities days in advance. Then, there is the All-Star weekend in February, and many players participate in the events featured in the midseason classic or simply go there to support teammates.

How Long are NBA Players Away from Home

Other than the regular season games, there is the play-in tournament and the playoffs. 16 out of the 30 teams, eight from each conference, play in the postseason, which extends the time the players are away from home. The two teams that play until June would have 100 games under their belts and possibly four to six months of being on the road. That’s a long time and should give the fans something to think about!

Do NBA Teams Fly on Private Planes?

Yes, they do! That is certainly the norm, except when they are playing teams nearby. In that event, they probably ride the team bus, which is not bad in itself. Unless their owners possessed a private jet, players in the past had to sit in airports and fly commercial. Now, they fly on private planes, either chartered or owned by the team.

Not all NBA owners have their own jets, so how do teams handle airline travel? Well, back in 2015, the National Basketball Association and Delta Air Lines Inc. reached an agreement after which 27 of the 30 NBA teams would use Delta’s chartered jets that were outfitted to accommodate NBA players. Delta uses the Boeing 757s which are bigger than most planes.

The only teams that don’t need to be in this deal are the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat. The Rockets and the Heat hired other companies, while Mavericks owner Mark Cuban owns a private Boeing 757 plane.

The NBA’s planes typically have 54 leather business-class seats with up to 5 feet of space between a passenger’s seat in one row and the corresponding seat in the row behind it. That should comfortably accommodate NBA players since the room is twice as much as the industry standard. 

Do NBA Teams Fly on Private Planes

The seats rotate, which adds a nice touch, not to mention the fact that it allows the players to talk or play a little bit of poker or blackjack if they want. These charter flights will also provide drinks and food, often the favorite of the coach or the superstars.

If you’re wondering why the planes have 54 seats, that’s because the teams travel with the coaching and training staff, maybe even with guests and family. Having that many seats should provide plenty of space for everyone. 

What NBA Players Travel the Most?

There is really no precise way to answer this question but through some logic and a lot of assumptions. LeBron James probably has the unofficial record for all-time, but since he was on the shelf for many games last season, he probably isn’t anywhere near that now. 

For reference, there are only 5 players who played in all 82 games last season. There’s a good chance that one of these five– Kevon Looney, Deni Avdija, Dwight Powell, Saddiq Bey, and Mikal Bridges– holds the distinction. 

From there, it’s easy to figure out who. Avdija and Bey did not make the playoffs, while Bridges got eliminated in the second round. Powell’s Mavericks were handed a Conference Finals exit by Looney’s Warriors, who, in turn, went on to win the NBA Finals. Therefore, it’s probably Kevon Looney who traveled the most out of all NBA players last season based solely on the number of games played.

Do NBA Player’s Wives Travel with the Team?

Almost everything in the NBA is on a case-to-case basis. Many NBA players’ significant others choose to accompany them on road trips, but others would rather stay home, especially if they have kids. The reasons for this are numerous, but they all boil down to a demanding schedule, complex logistics, and just the overall grind needed for travel.

Do NBA Player's Wives Travel with the Team

If a wife, girlfriend, or anyone from a player’s family choose to travel with the team, they will pay for their own expenses. (Or at least, expect the player who brought them along to do so.) The team won’t cover their travel, food, and lodging, so that’s a consideration. 

The best explanation for this is the management of people on the trip. Even if an NBA club had unlimited funds, it would be impossible to arrange for each player’s wife, fiancée, or girlfriend to fly in for every home game and stay at a hotel with the team. 

On top of that, they could not accommodate every player’s family on a flight, so the scheduling itself will be very complex. As a general rule for NBA teams, an NBA player’s wife or girlfriend who desires to accompany their man on a trip will have to pay for it herself.

Do NBA Players Pay For Travel and Food?

No, they typically don’t. The responsibility for transporting the players across the country and providing the money for their meals is on the owners. However, it’s not as lavish as someone would think, especially if the team is on the road. But yes, there are times when the players pay for their own food.

How? Well, the NBA players are mostly grown men, so the team can’t corral them in and force them to eat food they don’t like. This shouldn’t be a problem during home games because teams can just have someone cater food, especially for their players. Although it’s not entirely impossible, the logistical difficulty increases when the team is on the road.

Hence, all NBA players receive $133 as a daily allowance . Players are given $24 for breakfast, $37 for lunch, and $72 for dinner, which is the most of any major sport in North America. It was all made possible by the National Basketball Players Association, which strongly lobbied for the current per diem allowance in 2017.

Interestingly, the players don’t need that money because teams already prepare food for them, just in case. As mentioned, it’s not like the food prepared at home games, but it’s still more than enough for everyone. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruits, yogurt, and protein bars are all commonly accessible. What’s more, it’s not unusual for visiting teams to have a feast prepared for the team after games through a catering service.

For many players, eating the food provided by the team is an easy way to save additional money. This is beneficial, especially for the players on 10-day or two-way contracts who make way less than the established players. Of course, some may still choose to dine out whenever they want, but if they go over the allowance, they will be paying for their meals out of their own pockets. 

Wrapping Things Up: How Often Do NBA Players Travel?

The NBA is the most-traveled sports league in the world by a wide margin. The players are often out on the road, possibly longer than half the season. The likelihood is even greater if a team makes the playoffs or plays in the NBA Finals in June! 

Do the players pay for travel , and what modes of transportation do they usually use? No, the players do not play for travel as this will be shouldered by the team. And depending on the location of the next road opponent, NBA players travel by chartered flights and team buses. Can you imagine the toll it takes on someone’s body to travel that much?

To make up for all the beating their bodies take, teams accommodate the players in four or five-star hotels. They board the best luxury buses to take them from point A to point B, and the team is also responsible for their meals. On the road, players have a $133 per diem allowance that should be enough to take them through the day as long as there are no room services or trips to an expensive restaurant.

Now, back to the question, how often do NBA players travel ? There really is no definite answer, but it’s certainly a lot. Theoretically, NBA players are away from home half the time, but they could easily be out on the road for two weeks, especially if they’re on a trip on the opposite coast. NBA players earn a lot of money, but the grueling amount of travel they do is definitely not for everyone.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

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Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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How do NBA teams travel?

How do NBA teams travel?

How do NBA teams travel? Every NBA team plays at least 82 games during a season, a number that goes over 100 if we include the preseason games and potential playoff games. In half of these games, every team plays on the road which means that each team takes around 100 flights each season.

The schedule is created in a way that the teams play the division rivals more than the teams from the other conference mainly to reduce the flying time, but still, there is a lot of time in the air for every player.

To makes things even worse, the teams often take the flights to a road game right after they have finished a game in their city, which means that they arrive late in other cities that are often in a different time zone.

NBA teams spend more time at cruising altitude than teams in any other professional league. The jet lag from traveling to 41 road games during the regular season may be really difficult.

Why NBA teams usually have a worse record on road is not as much as because of the fans in the arena but to the traveling process. Each time during the regular season goes on a tour that lasts a week with the team traveling from town to town, which sometimes makes the players forget where they are when they wake up in the morning.

The NBA travel schedule, with travel across four time zones, is as difficult as it comes. Probably, it is the worst when teams play back-to-back road games.

NFL teams routinely travel as far, but only play once a week with only eight or nine road games within a regular season and most of their games are played on Sundays.

MLB teams play more often, actually double as much as the NBA teams but spend four to five days in each city, making for fewer miles traveled. NBA teams play , on average, slightly over three games a week over a 26-week regular season. And they go far, with most teams traveling well over 40,000 miles over the regular season.

Knowing that there are many players in the league who are there for numerous years, the number of flying hours of an NBA veteran is close to an airline employee.

Given the fact that the teams need their players in the best possible physical shape, they do all in their power to make the traveling as comfortable as possible.

The players usually skip the regular airport control and do not wait in lines to get on their plane.

In 2015, the NBA and Delta Air Lines Inc struck a deal in which 27 of the 30 NBA teams would be carried by their chartered jets specifically fitted out to host NBA players.

Delta Air Lines Inc. started using Boeing 757s under a tentative agreement for NBA charters, with almost 50 percent more cabin space than the usual planes.

The planes that NBA teams are using, usually feature 54 leather business-class seats with as much as 5 feet of pitch or the distance from a spot on one row to the same place on the next one. That’s about twice as much as the industry standard and accommodates NBA players who average 6 feet, 7 inches. The seats swivel, so players can twist to chat or play cards.

It’s also customary for sports stars to get extra attention on charters, with crews ready to provide a coach’s favorite drink or a player’s food preferences.

The A319 that Delta has been using in the pro sports team airliner segment is the smallest of the VIP airliners in the space. NBA squads usually fly with about 50 players , staff, reporters, and guests.

The Miami Heat , Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets are the only teams not covered by the agreement. The Heat and Rockets each use different charter companies while billionaire Mark Cuban’s Mavericks fly in their own 757.

Knowing how many flights the NBA teams have taken, of course, there have been some minor incidents.

In 1960, the Lakers narrowly averted being part of a major air disaster when their DC-3 charter crashed in an Iowa cornfield. Nobody on the plane was hurt. The Lakers were coming home from a game in St. Louis when about 10 minutes into the flight the generator in the team’s DC-3 charter failed, leaving the pilots without lights, heat, navigation devices, and radio power.

Unable to return back to Lambert Field in St. Louis because of the number of planes backed up over the airport, the pilots continued, hoping to navigate their way towards Minneapolis by starlight. They lost course, and soon had serious worries about fuel. Fortunately, the plane landed safely and no one was injured.

In 2017, Oklahoma City Thunder’s plane hit a bird on 30,000 feet leaving the nose of a charter plane left with a massive dent.

Last season, the Utah Jazz plane was forced for an emergency landing. Players and staff of NBA team Utah Jazz were left “shaken, but unharmed” after a bird strike forced the plane they were on to make an emergency landing.

The travel party had been heading to the team’s next game against the Memphis Grizzlies on a chartered flight but, just minutes into the journey, the decision was made to turn back for Salt Lake City Airport. The bird strike had caused a fire in at least one of the engines.

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What's behind the NBA's new focus on traveling, and how players and teams are adjusting

how do nba teams travel

NEW YORK -- Before the New York Knicks hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday afternoon, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about the NBA's emphasis on enforcing traveling this season.

"I'm all for it," Thibodeau said.

Over the ensuing 36 hours, the Knicks were hit with six violations in a blowout loss to the Mavericks before committing another eight -- the most called on any team in a single game since 2010, according to Elias Sports Bureau research -- during Sunday's 91-82 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers .

But it was a traveling call Thibodeau believed wasn't called on Cavs guard Darius Garland that landed the coach a technical foul late in the fourth quarter.

"Obviously there's an emphasis on it by the league," Thibodeau said postgame. "I think [the enforcement] is good, for the most part. But I think you have to be consistent in the way in which you call it.

"If it's tight for one team, it's got to be tight for the other team."

Neither side was happy with the way Sunday's game was called. Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff echoed his New York counterpart after the Cavs were called for five travels.

"To be honest with you, every game could be called like this," Bickerstaff said after holding back a smile. "But it's not. So when it is, it makes it difficult to figure out what exactly we're doing and how we're going to do it."

Knicks forward Julius Randle , meanwhile, said he had never experienced such a game throughout his nine-year NBA career.

"I'm not saying they're wrong," Randle said. "I'm not saying they're the wrong calls. It's just, I've never seen it."

While Sunday's game might have been an extreme example -- New York and Cleveland's 13 combined travels is the most for an NBA game this season and the most since March 2007, according to ESPN Stats & Information research -- the league has seen a dramatic increase in both traveling and carrying violations in recent weeks.

October saw 1.7 travels called per game, according to analysis by ESPN's Kevin Pelton. That number doubled in November. (During the 2021-22 season, there were 1.26 travels called per game, the lowest frequency dating back to 1996-97, the first year that play-by-play data is available).

What has been even more dramatic is the increase in carrying and palming calls. In October, not a single carry was called. In November, there were 44 -- 43 were called across the entire 2021-22 season. Six palming violations in October were followed by 57 being called in November -- 67 such calls were made across all of last season.

The violations have played a part in the leaguewide offensive rating going from 112 points per 100 possessions in October to 111.3 in November, as opposed to offense typically increasing over the course of the season.

And calls have been immune to situation, score and stardom. Shortly after Thibodeau received the technical Sunday, Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell was called for a travel a few feet away from the Knicks bench. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was called for a travel on a potential winning 3-point attempt in the final seconds against Dallas on Tuesday.

"If we're going to call that now," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after that 116-113 loss to the Mavericks, "we've got to call that all the time."

Despite frustrations aired across the league, the NBA is trying to do exactly that.

Each preseason, the league releases points of emphasis -- made available not only to the referees, but to the teams and media -- outlining a new focus in rules enforcement. In recent years, the target has been opening up the game to be played in a more free-flowing fashion. First was an emphasis on freedom of movement, cutting down on defenders clutching and grabbing on the perimeter. Then came eliminating "non-basketball moves" that players such as Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden had honed into a science to draw fouls.

For Monty McCutchen, the NBA's senior vice president of referee development and training, tackling traveling is the next step in an ongoing quest to change how NBA basketball is officiated.

"We take direction from our stakeholders," McCutchen says. "I think that [offensive players'] footwork had gotten to where the stakeholders had realized ... when you have a game that's played in space with highly skilled people and then you turn around on top of that and give them the advantage of extra footwork, it's virtually impossible to guard people."

McCutchen says the free-flowing nature and spacing of the modern NBA has provided an opportunity for referees to focus on players shifting their pivot foot when attacking defenses, adding that the league has studied data that shows missing such calls leads to additional defensive fouls because it creates an advantage for offensive players to exploit.

"Our concentration was on defensive players because that's where most of the problems came from. We had to grow and evolve with the game," McCutchen says.

"We've been harping on it and harping on it [with our referees]: You must then find the legal pivot foot and then you must either see a legal step back or a legal dribble before transitioning your focus to defensive players.

"We're doing a much better job of this and, thus, you're seeing an increase in violations."

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kevin Pelton (@kpeltoncharts)

Curry, for his part, echoed Thibodeau and Bickerstaff: As long as the game is being officiated consistently, everyone will adjust from there.

"All the ones they did call were clear travels. Not much to argue about," Curry said after the Warriors' win over the Rockets on Saturday. "Make the adjustments based on how the game is called, and we are talented enough to do that.

"Again, it's just making sure it's consistent on both sides, game after game."

While the emphasis on traveling hasn't come as a shock, both the number of carrying and palming violations -- neither of which were specifically spelled out as points of emphasis heading into the season -- have soared.

What has led to the sudden increase? McCutchen says the answer is simple: After watching the opening weeks of the season and studying how officials were reacting to the point of emphasis on traveling, not enough attention was paid to both carrying and palming the ball -- acts he says are part of the same sequence of events stressed to referees in the preseason.

"My job as the head coach -- for lack of a better description -- of our team, is to make sure that the rule book is being enforced," McCutchen says. "And when we emphasize traveling and sequencing and it picks up another part of footwork, then it needs to be adjudicated properly."

When asked if he expected there to be a decrease in calls as the season went along, McCutchen says there could be a natural decrease as players adjust. We have seen that in the past. Per Pelton's analysis, travels per game have declined after the first 20 team games in 24 of the past 26 seasons, including a dramatic drop in 2019-20 when traveling was last a point of emphasis.

Still, McCutchen says that despite some of the high-profile nature of recent calls, he's happy with the progress the league has made while acknowledging the referees' task of keeping up with a league constantly evolving around them.

"We're always going to be just a little behind. The key is to shorten that distance as much as possible through good training," McCutchen says of NBA referees.

"You've heard me say it a thousand times: A referee's role is to serve the game, and when we're told where we need to get better at serving the game, then it's my job to deliver on that."

And, after the Knicks had one of their best defensive performances of the season Sunday, Randle had one idea for how they could build on that success.

"Hopefully," Randle said with a smile, "we can force them into more travels."

ESPN's Kendra Andrews contributed to this story.

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Exploring How NBA Players Travel: Airplanes, Buses & Private Jets

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By Happy Sharer

how do nba teams travel

Introduction

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world, with 30 teams across the United States and Canada. As such, NBA players have to travel frequently throughout the season, whether it’s to compete in away games or attend promotional and media events. But how do NBA players travel?

In this article, we’ll explore the different forms of transportation used by NBA players for travel, and the cost and comfort associated with each. We’ll also look at the logistics of team road trips in the NBA, how teams cope with long travel times, and the impact of travel on player performance. Lastly, we’ll investigate the benefits of private jets for NBA players.

Exploring the Different Forms of Transportation Used by NBA Players

Exploring the Different Forms of Transportation Used by NBA Players

NBA players typically use three main forms of transportation for their travels: airplanes, buses, and private jets. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Most NBA teams choose to fly commercial airlines when traveling domestically. This is the most common form of transportation for NBA players, as it allows them to reach their destination quickly and efficiently. Additionally, commercial airplanes are one of the most cost-effective forms of transportation, making them attractive to teams that are looking to save money.

For shorter trips, some NBA teams opt to use buses instead of airplanes. Buses provide an affordable alternative to air travel and can be more comfortable for players, especially if they’re traveling with their families. However, buses are much slower than airplanes, so teams are limited to traveling within driving distance of their home city.

Private Jets

When time is of the essence, some NBA teams will charter private jets. These jets provide a luxurious way to travel and allow teams to reach their destination quickly. They are also much more expensive than commercial airplanes or buses, so they are typically reserved for special occasions or important business trips.

A Look at the Cost and Comfort of NBA Player Travel

The cost and comfort of NBA player travel varies depending on the form of transportation used. Let’s take a closer look at the cost and comfort of airplane, bus, and private jet travel.

Airplane Travel

Airplane travel is usually the most cost-effective form of travel for NBA teams. Depending on the airline and route, tickets can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per person. Additionally, commercial airplanes often lack the comfort and amenities of private jets, so players may not be as comfortable during their flights.

Buses are typically much cheaper than airplanes, but they are also much slower. Depending on the distance, a bus ride can take several hours, which can be uncomfortable for players who are used to flying. Additionally, buses often lack the same amenities found on airplanes, such as Wi-Fi and in-flight meals.

Private Jet Travel

Private jets offer the most comfortable form of travel for NBA players, with luxurious amenities such as reclining seats and entertainment systems. However, they are also the most expensive form of travel, with tickets costing thousands of dollars per person. Additionally, private jets can only carry a limited number of passengers.

Investigating the Logistics of Team Road Trips in the NBA

Investigating the Logistics of Team Road Trips in the NBA

Team road trips in the NBA involve more than just getting from point A to point B. There are many logistics that must be taken into account, such as scheduling, accommodations, and food and nutrition.

Scheduling is an important factor when planning a road trip, as teams must consider the length of the trip, the number of games they are playing, and the days off between games. Teams must also plan their travel schedule around other events, such as media appearances and team activities.

Accommodations

Accommodations are another important factor to consider when planning a road trip. Teams must book hotels and arrange transportation to and from the arena. Additionally, teams must also ensure that their players have access to quality medical care and treatment during their travels.

Food and Nutrition

Nutrition is an essential part of any athlete’s performance, and NBA teams must ensure that their players are eating healthy foods while on the road. Teams typically hire chefs to prepare meals for the players, and they may also provide snacks and drinks on the plane or bus.

Examining How NBA Teams Cope With Long Travel Times

Long travel times can be difficult for NBA players, as they can lead to fatigue and a decrease in performance. But teams have developed strategies to help players manage their time and energy while on the road.

Strategies for Time Management

Teams have developed strategies to help players manage their time while on the road. For example, teams may limit the amount of time players spend in the hotel, encourage players to take naps, and provide players with books and other forms of entertainment to keep them occupied.

Strategies for Dealing with Fatigue

Teams also have strategies to help players cope with fatigue while on the road. For example, teams may provide players with vitamins and supplements to help boost their energy levels, and they may also give players massages and other forms of relaxation therapy.

Analyzing the Impact of Travel on Player Performance

Analyzing the Impact of Travel on Player Performance

Travel can have both mental and physical effects on NBA players. The stress of traveling can lead to mental exhaustion, and the lack of sleep can lead to physical fatigue. Additionally, the change in environment can also affect a player’s performance, as they may not be used to the court or the climate of their destination.

Investigating the Benefits of Private Jets for NBA Players

Private jets offer numerous benefits for NBA players, including increased comfort and reduced travel times. Private jets are much faster than commercial airplanes or buses, so teams can reach their destination quicker and with less stress. Additionally, private jets offer more luxurious amenities than commercial airplanes, such as reclining seats and entertainment systems.

In conclusion, NBA players typically use airplanes, buses, and private jets for their travels. Airplanes are the most cost-effective form of transportation, while buses provide an affordable alternative for short trips. Private jets are the most comfortable form of transportation, but they are also the most expensive. Teams must also consider the logistics of team road trips, such as scheduling, accommodations, and food and nutrition. Additionally, teams must develop strategies to help players manage their time and cope with fatigue while on the road. Finally, private jets offer increased comfort and reduced travel times for NBA players.

(Note: Is this article not meeting your expectations? Do you have knowledge or insights to share? Unlock new opportunities and expand your reach by joining our authors team. Click Registration to join us and share your expertise with our readers.)

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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What's behind the NBA's new focus on traveling, and how players and teams are adjusting

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NEW YORK -- Before the New York Knicks hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday afternoon, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about the NBA's emphasis on enforcing traveling this season.

"I'm all for it," Thibodeau said.

Over the ensuing 36 hours, the Knicks were hit with six violations in a blowout loss to the Mavericks before committing another eight -- the most called on any team in a single game since 2010, according to Elias Sports Bureau research -- during Sunday's 91-82 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers .

But it was a traveling call Thibodeau believed wasn't called on Cavs guard Darius Garland that landed the coach a technical foul late in the fourth quarter.

"Obviously there's an emphasis on it by the league," Thibodeau said postgame. "I think [ the enforcement ] is good, for the most part. But I think you have to be consistent in the way in which you call it.

"If it's tight for one team, it's got to be tight for the other team."

Neither side was happy with the way Sunday's game was called. Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff echoed his New York counterpart after the Cavs were called for five travels.

"To be honest with you, every game could be called like this," Bickerstaff said after holding back a smile. "But it's not. So when it is, it makes it difficult to figure out what exactly we're doing and how we're going to do it."

Knicks forward Julius Randle , meanwhile, said he had never experienced such a game throughout his nine-year NBA career.

"I'm not saying they're wrong," Randle said. "I'm not saying they're the wrong calls. It's just, I've never seen it."

While Sunday's game might have been an extreme example -- New York and Cleveland's 13 combined travels is the most for an NBA game this season and the most since March 2007, according to ESPN Stats & Information research -- the league has seen a dramatic increase in both traveling and carrying violations in recent weeks.

October saw 1.7 travels called per game, according to analysis by ESPN's Kevin Pelton. That number doubled in November. (During the 2021-22 season, there were 1.26 travels called per game, the lowest frequency dating back to 1996-97, the first year that play-by-play data is available).

What has been even more dramatic is the increase in carrying and palming calls. In October, not a single carry was called. In November, there were 44 -- 43 were called across the entire 2021-22 season. Six palming violations in October were followed by 57 being called in November -- 67 such calls were made across all of last season.

The violations have played a part in the leaguewide offensive rating going from 112 points per 100 possessions in October to 111.3 in November, as opposed to offense typically increasing over the course of the season.

And calls have been immune to situation, score and stardom. Shortly after Thibodeau received the technical Sunday, Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell was called for a travel a few feet away from the Knicks bench. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was called for a travel on a potential winning 3-point attempt in the final seconds against Dallas on Tuesday.

"If we're going to call that now," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after that 116-113 loss to the Mavericks, "we've got to call that all the time."

Despite frustrations aired across the league, the NBA is trying to do exactly that.

Each preseason, the league releases points of emphasis -- made available not only to the referees, but to the teams and media -- outlining a new focus in rules enforcement. In recent years, the target has been opening up the game to be played in a more free-flowing fashion. First was an emphasis on freedom of movement, cutting down on defenders clutching and grabbing on the perimeter. Then came eliminating "non-basketball moves" that players such as Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden had honed into a science to draw fouls.

For Monty McCutchen, the NBA's senior vice president of referee development and training, tackling traveling is the next step in an ongoing quest to change how NBA basketball is officiated.

"We take direction from our stakeholders," McCutchen says. "I think that [ offensive players' ] footwork had gotten to where the stakeholders had realized ... when you have a game that's played in space with highly skilled people and then you turn around on top of that and give them the advantage of extra footwork, it's virtually impossible to guard people."

McCutchen says the free-flowing nature and spacing of the modern NBA has provided an opportunity for referees to focus on players shifting their pivot foot when attacking defenses, adding that the league has studied data that shows missing such calls leads to additional defensive fouls because it creates an advantage for offensive players to exploit.

"Our concentration was on defensive players because that's where most of the problems came from. We had to grow and evolve with the game," McCutchen says.

"We've been harping on it and harping on it [ with our referees ] : You must then find the legal pivot foot and then you must either see a legal step back or a legal dribble before transitioning your focus to defensive players.

"We're doing a much better job of this and, thus, you're seeing an increase in violations."

Curry, for his part, echoed Thibodeau and Bickerstaff: As long as the game is being officiated consistently, everyone will adjust from there.

"All the ones they did call were clear travels. Not much to argue about," Curry said after the Warriors' win over the Rockets on Saturday. "Make the adjustments based on how the game is called, and we are talented enough to do that.

"Again, it's just making sure it's consistent on both sides, game after game."

While the emphasis on traveling hasn't come as a shock, both the number of carrying and palming violations -- neither of which were specifically spelled out as points of emphasis heading into the season -- have soared.

What has led to the sudden increase? McCutchen says the answer is simple: After watching the opening weeks of the season and studying how officials were reacting to the point of emphasis on traveling, not enough attention was paid to both carrying and palming the ball -- acts he says are part of the same sequence of events stressed to referees in the preseason.

"My job as the head coach -- for lack of a better description -- of our team, is to make sure that the rule book is being enforced," McCutchen says. "And when we emphasize traveling and sequencing and it picks up another part of footwork, then it needs to be adjudicated properly."

When asked if he expected there to be a decrease in calls as the season went along, McCutchen says there could be a natural decrease as players adjust. We have seen that in the past. Per Pelton's analysis, travels per game have declined after the first 20 team games in 24 of the past 26 seasons, including a dramatic drop in 2019-20 when traveling was last a point of emphasis.

Still, McCutchen says that despite some of the high-profile nature of recent calls, he's happy with the progress the league has made while acknowledging the referees' task of keeping up with a league constantly evolving around them.

"We're always going to be just a little behind. The key is to shorten that distance as much as possible through good training," McCutchen says of NBA referees.

"You've heard me say it a thousand times: A referee's role is to serve the game, and when we're told where we need to get better at serving the game, then it's my job to deliver on that."

And, after the Knicks had one of their best defensive performances of the season Sunday, Randle had one idea for how they could build on that success.

"Hopefully," Randle said with a smile, "we can force them into more travels."

ESPN's Kendra Andrews contributed to this story.

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Stephen Curry’s Warriors are among the most-travelled teams in the league

How sleep and jet-lag influences success in the travel-crazy NBA

NBA teams play 41 road games a season, often in different time zones. That can be especially tough for teams journeying west

E ven with schedule tweaks, NBA teams will spend more time at cruising altitude than teams in any other professional league. The fatigue of playing 82 games a year, or more, is tough. The jet lag from travelling to 41 road games may be equally difficult.

“You grow up knowing about the 82-game schedule in the NBA,” says Golden State Warriors point guard Quinn Cook. “But it’s totally different when you experience the difficulty of that schedule yourself.”

The NBA travel schedule, with travel across four timezones, is as difficult as it comes. NFL teams routinely travel as far, but only play once a week. MLB teams play more often, but spend four to five days in each city, making for fewer miles travelled. NBA teams play, on average, slightly over three games a week over a 26-week regular season. And they go far, with most teams travelling well over 40,000 miles over the regular season.

All that travel could be having an effect on results too. Solidified by LeBron’s move west, the Western Conference has much of the NBA’s best talent, with 14 of the league’s best players . And although the Western Conference is on the wrong side of another imbalance, miles travelled – the Trailblazers, Clippers, Lakers, Warriors and Timberwolves are top-five in miles travelled in the 2018-19 season – there is new research that indicates Western Conference teams might have an edge when travelling.

As if a shallower talent pool wasn’t enough, Eastern Conference teams travelling westward had more difficulty winning, especially when games were later in the evening. Those NBA teams traveling eastward had a winning percentage of 45.4% compared with 36.2% for teams traveling westward.

But how much does that have to do with a talent differential, and how much is down to the direction of travel?

“It’s true that east to west travel has a greater effect on performance,” says Bill Burgos, a performance consultant and former head strength and conditioning coach for the Orlando Magic, “but it all depends when a team leaves the east coast to play west coast teams along with what time the games are played.”

A disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm, the 24-hour internal clock that tells us when to sleep and wakeup, may be at the root of the problem. This scrambling of the body clock is multiplied with the number of time zones travelled. Meaning that, for the Knicks, an away game in Los Angeles would be more difficult to win than one in Milwaukee. It’s just one more home court advantage for West Coast teams, hosting sleepy teams from the East.

Performance, from a circadian rhythm standpoint, is optimized in late afternoon or early evening. When playing in the evening, teams that travel from the west to east – like the Warriors games in New York this week – play at a time closer to the peak performance, while teams travelling west play at a time normally reserved for sleep.

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, whose will travel more than 3,500 miles to play road games in Orlando, Miami and Indiana.

Other research points to the general negative influence of air travel on health and recovery, for every NBA team. According to this research, when travelling on a plane, breathing air from a pressurized cabin, the amount of oxygen stored in the blood drops to a level that might alarm a family physician during a checkup. That, in combination with the inactivity of prolonged sitting, can lead to stiff muscles and joints, impeding recovery. Not so great when trying to get ready for the next game.

But it’s not just performance that suffers when jet lagged. Other studies have found an increase in injuries with more travel. While back to back games were surprisingly not associated with more injuries in the NBA, playing games away from home was. Perhaps indicating that disruption of the body’s internal clock, not solely fatigue, might be a risk factor.

So, if any league is trying to optimize health, playing games during natural peaks in internal alertness – late afternoon or evening – may protect players from fatigue-related injury.

And, as Cook knows, recovery from travel can take time. “The most difficult trip is the one back from the East Coast, it usually takes me two to three days to get adjusted.”

Now playing in Italy, almost exclusively against teams in the same time zone, former 76er and Warrior James Michael McAdoo remembers the tough travel schedule in the NBA. “The travel can mess with you, whichever direction you are travelling,” says McAdoo. “You get in super late at night, but you’re wide awake at two in the morning because your body is used to a different time zone.”

So, recovery from what happens off the court is as important as recovery from what happens on the court. Some teams have used colored lights – blue in the morning, red in the evening – to help athletes more quickly restore a normal circadian rhythm. Of course, as Burgos emphasizes, lights can be effective, but it’s tough to get players to use them. That’s why he recommends the low-tech solution to jet lag, proper hydration and the good old power nap.

McAdoo is a fan of napping: “I’m not a guy who likes to sleep in, even if I got in late, so usually I take an NBA nap – a two- to three-hour nap – in the middle of the day.”

For Cook, establishing a travel routine, something he’s learned from the veteran players on the Warriors, has been a big part of adjusting to the schedule.

Of course, not every road game stress is related to the circadian clock. Some team’s cities, notably Miami, Los Angeles, New York, derive a ‘home court advantage’ from their weather and nightlife. Travel to those cities can cause a sudden outbreak of ‘flu-like’ symptoms. For McAdoo, playing in the Bay Area was tough to beat, something he really appreciated during the Philadelphia winter. “After playing in Philadelphia and the East Coast, we would get out to LA, and it would be great just to be warm and see the sun. The team understood that, and they would try to get us there early.”

Of course, many may have difficulty pitying players that travel first-class in chartered planes, jet-setting to exciting cities. Nevertheless, if you’re rooting for your favorite NBA team to win on the road, you better hope that those perks keep their circadian rhythms running as smoothly as a Swiss watch.

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NBA Team Planes Unveiled – Does The NBA Fly Private?

Last Updated on: 23rd November 2023, 07:55 pm

Have you ever wondered what traveling like an NBA player is like? Get ready to soar through the skies in this eye-opening article about NBA team planes.

Find out if the NBA truly flies private or takes commercial flights and discover the different types of planes owned or chartered by teams.

From luxurious accommodations to behind-the-scenes insights, this is your ticket to the fascinating world of NBA team travel.

NBA team planes

So grab your boarding pass and join us on this exclusive journey.

Do NBA Teams Have Their Own Planes?

Yes, some NBA teams own their planes for travel . While not all teams own their planes, every NBA team can access private planes for the regular season and playoffs.

Teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets operate Boeing 767 aircraft. Some teams, like the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets, have different arrangements and use charter companies for travel. The Detroit Pistons have their plane named ‘Roundball One’.

Generally, larger and financially robust teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Nets, and Knicks have the resources to purchase and maintain their planes. However, newer teams like the Charlotte Hornets and Utah Jazz have also made recent plane purchases.

The NBA has an arrangement with Delta where they own 757 aircraft operated by the airline. Overall, the ownership of planes among NBA teams varies, with some teams relying on chartered services.

What Airplanes Do NBA Teams Own Or Charter?

NBA teams have a variety of airplanes or private jets that they either own or charter for their travel needs:

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Inside the Luxurious Accommodations of NBA Team Planes

As you step onto an NBA team plane, you’ll be amazed by the luxurious accommodations that await you.

The Lakers, Celtics, and other NBA teams spare no expense in providing their players with the utmost comfort during their travels. Here’s what you can expect inside:

  • Spacious seating : Sink into plush leather seats that offer ample legroom for a relaxed journey.
  • Entertainment systems : Indulge in the latest movies, TV shows, and games on large personal screens.
  • Gourmet dining : Enjoy a delectable selection of meals prepared by top chefs, catering to all dietary preferences.

These accommodations ensure that players can rest, unwind, and arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and ready to perform.

From the moment you step onboard, you’ll be enveloped in luxury that reflects the high standards of NBA travel.

Do Some NBA Players Have Their Own Private Jets?

Yes, some NBA players do own their own private jets and do not fly commercial flights.

Notable examples include Michael Jordan, who owns a Gulfstream G550, and Magic Johnson, with a Gulfstream G-III. LeBron James is also mentioned among those who have the means to fly private, indicating that he may own a private jet as well​ ​​ ​​ ​.

Sports pays well!

These private jets are symbols of wealth and status, and only a select few athletes have the financial capacity to afford them​ ​.

So there you have it, the truth behind NBA team planes. While not all teams own their aircraft, they can access private planes for travel.

Some teams, like the Lakers and Celtics, have the luxury of owning their planes, while others opt for chartering through airlines or charter companies.

Regardless of ownership, NBA players and staff can travel in style and comfort as they jet off to their next game.

how do nba teams travel

NBA Changed Its Travel Rule, But It's Still Not Perfect

In the NBA , traveling is a gray area. Officials, or when trying to decipher a walk, detectives, are put in a tough position to make these calls. Guys like Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James , who manipulate the rules to their advantage, toy refs into blowing their whistle.

So why is the traveling rule so hard to define? Well, the league clarified the rule prior to the 2019-20 season.

The NBA's Traveling Definition

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The main factor when calling a traveling violation is determining when a player gathers. The league updated the definition with new language in the NBA rule book. The new rules read as follows :

Definition of the Gather The following definition of the gather will be added to the definitions section of the playing rules: A. For a player who receives a pass or gains possession of a loose ball, the gather is defined as the point where the player gains enough control of the ball to hold it, change hands, pass, shoot, or cradle it against his body. B. For a player who is in control of the ball while dribbling, the gather is defined as the point where a player does any one of the following: (1) Puts two hands on the ball, or otherwise permits the ball to come to rest, while he is in control of it; (2) Puts a hand under the ball and brings it to a pause; or (3) Otherwise gains enough control of the ball to hold it, change hands, pass, shoot, or cradle it against his body.

In layman's terms, the player is allowed two steps post gather step. Some guys are so quick when they gather — leaving it to the discretion of the refs — that it looks like a walk to the average fan, which is where the scrutiny is built from.

It's up to NBA officials to determine when a player gathers, and NBA players love putting the pressure on them.

Given these rules agreed upon by the NBA Board of Governors, Harden's famous step back and Euro step into field goal attempts are more than legal, even if it appears the 2018 NBA MVP's completion of a dribble is murky.

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NBA President of League Operations Byron Spruell issued a comment on the rule changes:

"One of the most misunderstood rules in our game is how traveling is interpreted and appropriately called," Spruell said . "Revising the language of certain areas of the rule is part of our three-pronged approach to address the uncertainty around traveling. This approach also includes an enforcement plan to make traveling a point of emphasis for our officiating staff, along with an aggressive education plan to increase understanding of the rule by players, coaches, media and fans."

Spruell appeared on ESPN's The Jump in October 2019 to further elaborate on the rule change. The crew talks about traveling at the four-minute mark in the video above.

While switching a pivot foot is an easy traveling call, the gather is the basis of this contentious rule. The second step may seem like an extra step, but as long as it's after a gather, it's within the rule book's confines.

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The good and bad of NBA road trips

Travel is bad for nba players, but road trips can benefit a team by bringing them closer together and sparking chemistry which can only be created in close quarters..

Road trips can help teams like the Clippers come together.  (Getty)

"On the road again... I just can't wait to get on the road again... The life I love is making music with my friends.. and I just can't wait to get on the road again." - Willie Nelson

Road games in sports are tough. Even with NBA homecourt advantage not being the massive plus that it is for the other sports, and with the constant travel, there's still the comfort of being home vs. the longevity of being on the road. And with the (insane) make up of the NBA schedule, it means teams often wind up on long road trips on the opposite coast, traveling for weeks at a time. To jam these runs in and get them off the road sooner, that often means back-to-backs on long flights with multiple hours of time zone differential. 

NBA players get chartered planes with tons of room, have their bags handled for them (for the most part), have luxury buses take them to their five-star hotels and get the best in treatment and rest that can reasonably be afforded. Still, just like anyone, travel is a nightmare. And for athletes, the wear and tear on the body is very real. From a white paper published by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute : 

"Additionally, during a game, hydration is always a challenge. Inadequate hydration during competition can be further compromised by the demand for air travel immediately post game (low humidity environment of the fuselage) for half of the regular season games." 

And just in practical terms, the time differential is crazy. From Sixers.com: 

Games on the West Coast are even more disorienting. Say the Sixers finish a game in Portland and commute down to Los Angeles or Phoenix for a game the next night. In that case, the plane will be traversing down the Pacific Coast at 4am Philadelphia time. If you look at it another way, 90% of the American public is sleeping while a group of NBA players travels to its next game.

via  The Call: Sports Science And The Rigors Of Travel | Philadelphia 76ers .

So yeah, there's reason to believe that road trips are inherently bad for teams. And for some so far this season, they've been downright disastrous. The Hornets ' rapid descent from "struggling" to "outright disaster started with a 1-3 West Coast road trip in which they gave the Lakers their first win of the season. The Nets started out sluggish, and then went 0-3 on a road trip that they thought might boost them forward. The Wolves went 1-5 on a road trip that included a "home game" in Mexico City. 

But of course, the caveat there is that those teams that lost all played teams in the Western Conference, often against the good teams in the Pacific division, and that conference disparity is huge. Because on the other side, The Suns went 4-2 on an East Coast trip, and the Clippers , who had been struggling this season, got themselves right heading to the Least Coast, going 6-1 as they romped through the Southeast Division.

Still, beyond just the competition, there is a value players will talk about in being on the road, particularly from a chemistry perspective. 

"We got on the road, we stopped thinking as much," Chris Paul told CBSSports.com this week. (Look for more from Paul on Thursday on CBSSports.com.) "We had a chance to come together. When you're on the road, your teammates are all that you have. I think we got a chance to pull together to find our identity."

Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets said that going on the road helped teammates who were new to each other, or who hadn't been around as much due to injury like Danilo Gallinari , settle back in with the team dynamic. The Nuggets went 2-1 on their trip east, which helped turn around their season. 

So while, yes, playing Eastern Conference teams is good for what ails you (Western Conference teams are now 68-27 straight up against the East, 57-38 against the spread), there's something to be said for what you can do with a long road trip. It helps teammates bond, and while that doesn't always correspond to the court (the Suns have said they get along great off the floor and are struggling to figure it out on the court), it does create happier players and that understanding one another sparks the kind of team closeness that's hard to quantify with metrics. 

The Spurs for years have gone on hot streaks starting with their long rodeo road trip soon after the new year, and have often talked about how that's brought them closer together and helped them "get in gear" for the late-season crunch.

Long road trips can doom seasons, cause teams to unravel and lose confidence. But they can also bond a team closer. While the number of games on these stretches could be reduced as far as games-per-week are concerned, they can also change teams' fortune. Sometimes a little discomfort can be good for bringing the best out of a team. 

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Let's Talk Aviation

How NBA Teams Travel

The NBA is on its way; 30 teams will play 82 games each in just six months. Playing multiple games a week across the country, teams will be on the road for weeks on end. So, how do NBA teams travel from one stadium to another? Let’s Talk Aviation!

NBA Schedule

After two seasons heavily impacted by Covid, the NBA is going back to business as usual for the most part. After the NBA bubble in Disneyland at the end of the 2019-20 season and the temporary relocation of the Toronto Raptors to Tampa, Florida to deal with travel restrictions.

However, Covid certainly had an impact on how the games were scheduled. Last year, the NBA introduced two-game series where two teams would play back-to-back games in the same city. The same way the MLB combines multiple games into a series where the same teams match up in the same arena for a couple of consecutive days.

While they were a necessity the previous season due to the more condensed schedule and to reduce the contacts of players with one another, they will stay in the schedule this year to reduce travel.

However, these measures can reduce travel, but road trips will remain a big part of the operations of an NBA team. This year, the LA Clippers have the longest road trip. They will play eight away games between January 20 and February 1. The Clippers will play in Denver, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Orlando, Miami, Charlotte, and Indianapolis. All in the span of just thirteen days.

Some teams even have recurring road trips, like the San Antonio Spurs, their famous rodeo road trip takes place each year in February. Right when their home venue, the AT&T Centre is used for the annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo . This year, however, the rodeo road trip will be interrupted by the All-Star break. Let’s get into how NBA teams travel.

The Delta Deal

Luckily for the players, they don’t have to travel economy with JetBlue or Spirit, but they have the luxury of flying private. Most teams have entered an agreement with Delta Air Lines for their travel needs.

The airline has converted 11 Boeing 757-200 aircraft in an all-business configuration with plenty of leg space, sleeper seats, larger lavatories, and a food and drink service that is adjusted to the preferences of each team. The planes are fitted with 72 seats, more than enough for an entire team with coaches and other support staff.

NBA Team Cleveland Caveliers arrive after becoming NBA Champions

During the 2015-16 season, when Delta entered the agreement with almost all of the 30 teams, they mentioned that the revenue from these `NBA’ flights was about 65 million US dollars over 1700 flights during the regular season and the playoffs, for an average price of about 38 thousand dollars per flight.

While Delta operates the flights, they don’t own the planes. The planes are actually leased by a trust of the NBA. The deal, however, allows Delta to use the planes for non-NBA charter flights when they aren’t needed to fly the NBA teams around the country.

Dallas Mavericks & Mark Cuban

As I mentioned before, not all teams participate in the deal. One of the most prominent are the Dallas Mavericks, the franchise – owned by Mark Cuban – has its own plane. Or at least, their owner lets them use of his. The Mavericks get to use either his 757 or 767 for road games.

On March 30 of 2021, the Utah Jazz were on their way to Memphis for a matchup against the Grizzlies when shortly after take-off, the plane hit a flock of birds. The bird strike damaged the nose of the plane and resulted in a left engine fire. The pilots declared an emergency right away and the plane returned safely to Salt Lake International Airport.

Luckily all on board were physically unharmed. However, one of the Jazz’s star players Donavan Mitchell opted not to take the next flight but to sit this one out. The Jazz eventually ended up winning 111-107 over the Grizzlies.

The damage after a Delta charter carrying the @utahjazz struck a flock of birds mid-air today. The plane turned around and made an emergency landing at @slcairport . #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/h7IyL5usmL — Marc Sternfield (@msternfield) March 30, 2021

Ball Unlocked

What Hotels Do NBA Teams Stay At? (Revealed)

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • NBA teams travel frequently for games, both at home and away.
  • NBA teams have preferred hotels that meet their requirements for travel needs, including luxury accommodations for players.
  • Some specific cities where NBA teams stay at hotels include Portland, Orlando, New York City, Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Atlanta.

Introduction

Do NBA teams have a comfortable stay when they travel from one city to another for their games? Let’s explore the hotels they prefer!

NBA teams opt for luxury hotels. They provide amenities such as fitness centers, restaurants, and meeting rooms. Plus, they offer privacy and security to help the players focus on their game and avoid distractions. Location is key too. It must be close to the arena to save time and reduce traveling difficulties.

Some teams always stay in the same hotel. Others pick a new one depending on their travel schedule. Hotels often give NBA teams special packages and deals for their comfort and satisfaction. This preference for luxury hotels ensures NBA players get the best experience away from home.

NBA Teams Traveling for Games

NBA teams are always on the move, and traveling for away games and even home games is an integral part of their routine. With this constant travel, where do they stay? In this section, we’ll take a look at NBA teams traveling for games, including home games and away games, and explore the logistics and accommodations that come with the territory.

NBA teams don’t have to worry about travel when playing home games. However, they must make preparations. They usually stay at a hotel or facility close to the arena. This is to avoid travel time and give players rest. They may also need certain amenities or meals.

Where they stay matters for their performance . Teams look at factors such as pricing, location, or availability when deciding.

Home games are an important part of the NBA season . Planning and consideration are needed for successful games.

NBA away games mean extensive travel for players and staff. Comfort and safety are the priority, so they can rest and recover between games. Hotels must meet certain criteria to be chosen. They must offer amenities, security, quality food, and be close to the venue .

Teams usually stick to familiar chains. But sometimes they have to choose alternatives. Which hotel they choose varies from city to city. It must meet their needs and the players’ preferences. In Portland, The Nines and The Benson hotels are popular.

While The Peninsula and The Ritz Carlton are favorites in NYC. Each hotel has features to suit the NBA players’ needs. In conclusion, NBA teams prioritize comfort and safety when selecting accommodation. They make sure their players can focus on their best performance in each game.

NBA Teams’ Preferred Hotels and Requirements for Travel Needs

NBA teams place significant importance on their travel needs and accommodations during the season. In this section, we will take a closer look at the preferred hotels of various NBA teams and their specific requirements. Additionally, we will examine why and how these preferred hotels change based on availability and dates. These facts and figures will give insights into the NBA team’s travel habits and their choice of hotels.

Change in Preferred Hotels Based on Availability and Dates

NBA teams switch their favorite hotels often. It’s important they give their players a comfortable and convenient place to stay while on the road. For a team to be successful, they must take care of their players’ physical health and readiness.

A table can be created to show any changes in preferred hotels. It will have 3 columns: NBA Team, Preferred Hotels, and Changes based on Availability & Dates.

For example, some teams may choose to stay at Marriott or Four Seasons. But if those hotels aren’t available, they’ll look for other options.

It’s also interesting that the team’s travel schedule can influence the choice of hotel. If there’s only one day between two games, coaches may select a hotel closer to the arena. This way, their players can get enough rest before the game.

The following table shows the preferred hotels of NBA teams, along with any changes based on availability & dates :

Hotels where NBA Teams Stay in Specific Cities

Every time the NBA teams go on the road, the hotel they stay in becomes their home base for the duration of their stay. In this section, we’ll take a look at the hotels where NBA teams stay when they play in specific cities, including Portland, Orlando, New York City, Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Atlanta . Find out where these basketball stars rest and recharge during their travels to games across the country.

Portland offers NBA teams plenty of luxury lodging choices. The Golden State Warriors usually stay at The Benson Hotel when they’re in town. The Houston Rockets, likewise, often book rooms at the Heathman Hotel . NBA teams prioritize comfort and luxury in their accommodations, and Portland can meet their needs. Noteworthy is that while some NBA teams’ preferred hotels may switch up depending on availability and dates, certain hotels remain a dependable choice for most teams visiting Portland.

NBA players and officials visiting Orlando have plenty of luxury options. Four Seasons hotels are known for their comfort and top amenities. In fact, the NBA bubble in 2020 was held in a special accommodation built just for the players.

Other teams, such as the Hilton, Marriott, and Sheraton, have a range of choices. How far they need to travel plays a big part in deciding which hotel they go with . All in all, Orlando offers a wide selection of places to stay for NBA players and officials .

New York City

NBA Teams often travel to different cities for games . When they visit New York City, they have certain hotels they prefer.

The Ritz Carlton is one choice. It’s well-known for its luxury and elegance and provides great services and amenities.

The Four Seasons Hotel is another favorite. It offers top-notch amenities, like spas and fine dining.

The Sheraton Times Square Hotel is also chosen by NBA players. It’s in the middle of Times Square, giving easy access to tourist attractions such as theaters, restaurants, bars, and shops.

Sometimes, The Plaza Hotel or Waldorf Astoria are chosen. However, it depends on the team’s schedule and events happening in the city. There are many options in New York City that meet NBA teams’ needs and preferences.

NBA players get the luxury of top-notch lodging while on the road. Four Seasons Hotels are a popular pick. Such hotels give players the best comfort and luxury to relax and get ready for their games . But, the top hotels may vary due to availability and timing.

When NBA teams come to Denver, they usually stay at Ritz-Carlton or Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown . Some players may choose to stay in their own residences or even nearby vacation spots. No matter where they stay, NBA players get the best accommodations that the city has .

NBA players often stay at select hotels in Miami, as they meet the players’ unique needs. These include a nutritious diet and efficient transportation. W South Beach is one of the favored accommodations. Other luxury hotels NBA players visit are Ritz Carlton , Four Seasons , and SLS Brickell .

These establishments provide top-notch services , as well as luxurious rooms for relaxation. The Miami Heat and L.A. Lakers usually stay at high-end hotels before their games. Spa amenities, such as deep tissue massages and ice baths , help athletes recover from strenuous activities.

Los Angeles

NBA teams flock to Los Angeles, and the Four Seasons Hotels are often chosen. Private balconies, in-room dining, and spa services make for a luxurious stay. These hotels also take extra security measures to protect players.

The Ritz Carlton and Beverly Hills Hotel are two other popular choices in Los Angeles. They provide elite amenities to ensure players can relax.

When it comes to dining, there’s no shortage of options. NBA teams often try Katana, Spago, and STK Steakhouse for a delicious meal after a long day.

NBA teams often choose hotels in Phoenix based on availability and dates. These hotels need to have the facilities to meet the teams’ needs. Unfortunately, details about the hotels are limited.

Players also have the choice of luxury accommodations when they travel to their destination. Vacation spots are available for players to relax after games or tournaments.

No extra info is present in the Reference Data on Phoenix’s accommodation for NBA players. However, Phoenix is a crucial location for teams and players during away games.

NBA players have plenty of choices in Atlanta for accommodation. The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead stands out as the top pick for an upscale experience. With a fitness center, spa, and multiple dining options, it’s conveniently located close to attractions like the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena.

However, teams may choose another premier hotel like the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta or Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel . It depends on their individual scheduling and availability needs. Teams take into account preferences of individual players and team management policies when selecting their accommodation.

No matter the choice, NBA teams visiting Atlanta can look forward to a comfortable and enjoyable stay in this vibrant city.

Luxury Accommodations for NBA Players During Travel

NBA players are accustomed to luxury accommodations during their travels, and rightfully so. This section explores the choices made by NBA teams regarding their hotel selection, including favored Four Seasons locations.

Additionally, we’ll discuss the benefits of NBA players having their own rooms , as well as the vacation spots chosen by these esteemed athletes when they’re not on the court. Finally, we’ll look at the accommodations provided during the NBA bubble in Orlando and the travel arrangements of both G League and NBA players alike .

Choice of Four Seasons Hotels

Four Seasons Hotels are the go-to luxury accommodation for NBA players. They guarantee all the needs of teams and players. Their amenities and services make them popular.

What makes Four Seasons unique? Spectacular locations, great in-room features plus exclusive facilities. They understand dietary needs and provide custom menus.

The NBA owners pay for travel and lodging in Four Seasons. The comfort they offer athletes before games makes them the preferred choice.

In conclusion, NBA players love Four Seasons. Their services are top-notch , amenities luxurious , and proximity to needed facilities. Custom-designed services make sure players enjoy their stay and get ready for games. Clearly, Four Seasons is the best for NBA players.

NBA Players Getting Own Hotel Rooms

NBA athletes often like their own hotel room when travelling with the team. This way, they can have their own space and privacy, which helps them stay concentrated on the upcoming game. Nevertheless, it’s essential to remember that this isn’t mandatory for all teams. It is based on factors such as personal tastes and past experiences with shared lodgings.

When NBA players wish for their own hotel room, their team makes sure the accommodation is up to certain standards. For example, the hotel has to be close to the stadium or arena where the game or practice is held. Further, the rooms ought to be properly furnished, with cozy beds, excellent lighting, and Wi-Fi access.

Some players enjoy spending time with others in group housing, whereas some prioritize having their own place. Teams must adjust the needs of their athletes with the team objectives and allowance when organizing accommodations. In the end, it is important that NBA players have a pleasant and enjoyable stay while travelling with the team, for a successful performance.

Vacation Destinations of NBA Players

NBA Players have many interesting vacation spots to explore. They have limited time during the NBA season , so they often look forward to their off-season for a holiday.

Popular destinations include:

  • Caribbean Islands – stunning beaches and warmth all year long
  • Europe – beautiful architecture, culture, landscapes, attractions
  • Hawaii – scenic beauty, surfing, hiking, beach volleyball
  • Mexico – cultural history, white sandy beaches
  • Asia – immersion in new cultures

Some players prefer longer trips away from home , while others enjoy local spots that they don’t have a chance to see in the busy season. There are many cities in America providing a reprieve from hectic NBA life during their off-seasons.

NBA Bubble Accommodations in Orlando

The NBA acted quickly to create a safe atmosphere for teams to play amidst the COVID-19 pandemic . Their solution? The “ bubble ” in Orlando, Florida. This bubble was designed to guarantee safety and enforce multiple layers of protection .

Hotels were made to follow strict cleaning protocols. Shared areas, like door handles and elevators, were frequently sanitized. Everyone outside of their team had to wear masks while interacting.

Inside the bubble, players had access to first-rate workout facilities and recreational activities like golfing, fishing, and game rooms. It was a secure, all-inclusive environment that catered to the well-being of all .

Testing was also a must. Everyone staying there was tested for COVID-19 repeatedly due to its contagious nature. This way, the NBA could keep the virus out of the bubble.

Overall, the NBA bubble in Orlando provided safety and amenities for everyone involved. It kept players in shape, healthy, and safe. It also provided them with excellent facilities for peak athletic performance.

G League and NBA Players’ Travel and Schedule

Comprehending and discussing G League and NBA players’ travel and schedules requires an understanding of NBA teams’ travel and preferred hotels. Amenities provided by owners to players on the road are paramount to their comfort and performance.

The table below outlines details of G League and NBA players’ travel and schedules. This includes: the number of games played, length of stay, and preferred hotels.

Furthermore, offseasons present NBA players with the opportunity to select vacation spots.

G League players’ preferred hotels offer shorter stays than those of NBA players . For example, Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt Place, and Marriott Residence Inn . Meanwhile, NBA players’ options include luxury hotels, such as Four Seasons Hotels . Some NBAers also take vacations in their offseasons.

It is thus crucial to consider the preferences of NBA stars when selecting suitable hotel options that meet all their needs. G League and NBA Players’ Travel and Schedule entails long hours of plane rides, waiting at airports, and hotel stays for extended periods . NBA owners are willing to pay for comfortable accommodations close to game venues.

NBA Owners Paying for Travel and Lodging in Luxury Hotels

NBA teams feel blessed to have their owners’ support for travel and lodging . Owners understand the importance of giving their players the best accommodation, such as high-end hotels that follow the league’s guidelines. These hotels offer great facilities like spas, pools, and fine dining.

Not only do owners pay for the lodging in these luxury hotels, but also all the travel costs ! This includes airfare, ground transport, and per diem expenses. By doing this, NBA players can use all their energy on playing their best.

Five facts about hotels where NBA teams stay:

✅ NBA teams have a preference for hotels when traveling to different cities, but the preferred hotel may change based on availability and dates. (Source: elitesportstours.ca)

✅ NBA players typically get their own hotel rooms and do not necessarily need special beds, but luxury accommodations are provided during travel. (Source: thefootballlovers.com)

✅ Four Seasons hotels are frequently chosen by NBA teams for luxury accommodations, amenities, location, and partnership with the NBA. (Source: thefootballlovers.com)

✅ NBA players often vacation in destinations such as Mykonos, Greece and Hawaii. (Source: thefootballlovers.com)

✅ The specific hotels NBA teams stay at in various cities are not always publicly disclosed, but options such as the Nines Hotel and Hotel Monaco have been mentioned for when NBA teams play against the Portland Trailblazers in Portland. (Source: TripAdvisor)

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NBA Limits Back-to-Backs, Travel in Push to Improve Game Quality

Creating an NBA schedule is complicated. The league takes availability of arenas, team preferences, conversations with network partners and thousands of other variables, and plugs all of them into its own proprietary algorithm to generate potential schedules before yet another round of human input.

To put the complexity in perspective, once they know all the matchups of one team’s 82-game season, there are approximately 10^115 ways they could order those games. That is an unfathomably large total, trillions of times greater than the theoretical number of atoms in the universe (and that’s without taking into account dates or times of the games, or any of the other 29 teams’ schedules).

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Sometimes the league adds new priorities and constraints from the prior year, such as precluding four games in five nights, for example. During the day-to-day of an NBA season, it’s hard to perceive these changes. Over 82 games, however, the differences add up.

In an era with increased focus on rest, the NBA has substantially reduced back-to-backs. Between the 2002-03 and 2014-15 seasons, the average team played just under 20 back-to-backs per 82-game season, or around 24% of all games. In 2018-19, not a single team played more than 15, and the league average was 13.3, meaning the NBA eliminated about a third of its two-in-a-row games in less than half a decade.

The pandemic caused a temporary relapse—during the heavily condensed 2020-21 season, more than 20% of all games on each team’s schedule were back-to-backs. Furthermore, the addition of the play-in tournament removed several days from the regular season, slightly compressing the calendar. Despite these challenges, the frequency of back-to-backs will return to the 2018-19 level in 2022-23. NBA executive vice president of basketball strategy and analytics Evan Wasch says that the league is unlikely to further decrease the number of back-to-backs.

It’s counterintuitive, but the league’s data reveals no relationship between back-to-backs and injury rates. Rather, maximizing rest is primarily about improving the quality of basketball. “You can look at a back-to-back and see reduction in team performance, and our tracking metrics show less energy exerted,” Wasch said.

Interestingly, the league’s war on back-to-backs has led to a trade-off by limiting opportunities for teams to get three or more consecutive days of rest. In 2022-23, teams will have an average of 2.1 such instances, compared to 4.1 in 2013-14 (not counting the season opener and the first game after the All-Star break). Teams use those extended rests to conduct practices, which teams generally don’t do if they have only one day off between games. “We started to hear from teams, ‘Wait a minute, we’re not practicing,’” Wasch said. “So that’s when the conversation shifted towards the quality of the back-to-backs as opposed to the number.”

One measure of improved quality has been a reduction in travel. The average team will travel less than 42,000 miles over the course of the 2022-23 season, a massive change from just five years ago, when the mean was more than 46,000.

Implementing the “series model,” in which two teams play each other in the same arena two games in a row, has helped. The NBA rarely did this before the pandemic, but after logistics forced them to do so in 2020-21 (there were 90 such “series” that year), the league added 23 to the 2021-22 calendar, and there are 55 in 2022-23.

While COVID-19 instigated that innovation, there are three other clear upsides to limiting travel: lower environmental impact, improved player health and fewer expenses. While the financial rewards of cutting travel are roughly proportional to the miles reduction, and a welcome bonus for teams, commuting costs do not make up a large chunk of teams’ expenses. “We’re much more concerned with the product side and the footprint side than the expense reduction,” Wasch said.

Perhaps more significant from a business perspective: the NBA has increased the number of weekend games, which are more lucrative from a ticketing standpoint.

While league-wide improvements benefit everyone, it is also in the league’s interest to remove inequities between individual teams. To that end, the NBA has made strides to reduce instances of rest disadvantage (i.e. games in which one team played the previous day but the other didn’t), cutting out nearly one quarter of such games since 2012-13.

Going forward, the NBA could expand its series model to reap even more travel benefits, depending on how the experiment goes this season in terms of fan interest and gate revenue. “If you ran a Thursday Saturday series, and it’s a high profile matchup—Thursday night on TNT, Saturday night on ABC—you create that narrative,” Wasch said. “If we can see the fan engagement impact and the local business impact, then we could push it even more.”

Teams appreciate not only the increased rest but also the chance to repeatedly gameplan for the same opponent, as one would in the playoffs. A mid-season tournament in 2023-24 would add even more postseason atmosphere to the regular season, but could also make logistics more convoluted. It’s already a miracle that a schedule even gets made, much less one that is satisfactory for players, fair, and improves the bottom line.

Click here to read the full article.

Travel Teknoinside

How Do NBA Teams Travel?

Traveling is an essential part of the NBA season. With teams spread across the country, players and staff members need to move efficiently and comfortably to ensure they arrive at their games in top condition. In this article, we will take a closer look at how NBA teams travel and the logistics involved in their journeys.

Chartered Flights

One of the most common ways NBA teams travel is through chartered flights. These flights are exclusively for the team and provide several advantages over commercial flights. Chartered flights allow teams to customize their travel schedule, ensuring they arrive at their destinations with enough time to rest and prepare for the game ahead.

Chartered flights also offer privacy and comfort. Players can relax and recover during the flight, avoiding the hassle of crowded airports and long security lines. Additionally, the team’s staff can use the flight time to review game footage, strategize, and plan for upcoming matches.

Team buses are another crucial mode of transportation for NBA teams. Once the team lands at the airport, they board their luxury team bus, which is equipped with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable journey. These buses often have plush seating, entertainment systems, and ample space for players to stretch and relax.

Hotels and Accommodations

When NBA teams travel, they need suitable accommodations to ensure the players’ well-being and rest. Teams typically stay in top-notch hotels that offer amenities tailored to their needs. These hotels often have fitness centers, spas, and specialized meal options to cater to the athletes’ dietary requirements.

Teams also prioritize proximity to the game venue when selecting their hotels. Being close to the arena reduces travel time and allows players to conserve their energy. Additionally, staying in the same hotel helps foster team camaraderie and allows for easier coordination of pre-game meetings and activities.

Training Facilities

In addition to hotels, NBA teams require access to high-quality training facilities when they are on the road. These facilities are essential for players to maintain their fitness levels and continue their training routines. Many teams coordinate with local gyms or universities to secure practice courts and training equipment during their stay.

These training facilities often have state-of-the-art equipment and amenities, ensuring that players can maintain their physical conditioning and work on their skills. Having access to these facilities helps teams stay competitive and prepared, even when they are away from their home arenas.

Team Logistics Staff

Behind every successful NBA team’s travel arrangements, there is a dedicated logistics staff. These professionals handle all the intricate details of the team’s travel, ensuring everything runs smoothly. They coordinate flight schedules, hotel reservations, ground transportation, and other logistical aspects.

Logistics staff also take into account factors like game schedules, time zone changes, and potential weather disruptions when planning the team’s travel . Their goal is to minimize any disruptions or fatigue caused by long journeys, ensuring that the players are in optimal condition for their games.

Traveling is an integral part of an NBA team’s journey throughout the season. Chartered flights, luxury buses, top-notch hotels, and access to training facilities all contribute to the smooth travel experience . The dedicated logistics staff plays a vital role in coordinating these arrangements, ensuring that the team can focus on their performance and compete at their best. By understanding the intricacies of how NBA teams travel , fans can appreciate the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into making every game possible.

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how do nba teams travel

20 cities that deserve an NBA expansion team

Basketball is a sport that is universally loved, and the NBA is at the forefront of the sport's dizzying growth. It's about time the NBA started expanding its league to include new teams in new cities. You will find 20 cities that deserve an NBA expansion team the most in this list.

Here are the criteria we used:

1. Is this city known as a sports town?

2. What is their population? Can it house an expansion team?

3. Is this a city with a rich basketball history?

Side note: There will be no Bay Area teams on this list. So if you're from San Francisco, Oakland, or San Jose, you won't find your city here. Be happy with the Warriors. 

Seattle has to be first. The people of Seattle have been deprived of a professional basketball team since the SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and changed their name to the Thunder in 2008. It’s a crime they were run out of town. 

Seattle has a long history with the SuperSonics. Seattle is already home to the Seahawks, Mariners, and the brand-new Seattle Kraken of the NHL. 

The SuperSonics could come back as an expansion team the same way the Cleveland Browns of the NFL came back to Cleveland in 1999. Let’s hope the result is better for Seattle if it were ever to happen .

Viva Las Vegas! The NBA has had its eye on Vegas for a while, and they already have connections to the area. The NBA Summer League is played in Sin City every year. Vegas is the sports betting capital of the world, and it already has an NHL and an NFL team. With how quickly those teams were sent to Vegas, an NBA team feels like it's right around the corner. 

If this ever happened, LeBron James has expressed interest in owning a team in Las Vegas,  per NBA.com . James brings 20 years of unofficial GM experience to the table.

Mexico City

This one may surprise some of you, but the NBA is having serious conversations about this one. In fact, it’s considered a dark horse candidate for an expansion team, per Marc J. Spears . It’s the largest city in Mexico. Since the NBA has already played a slew of games here, this one might happen sooner rather than later.

The city of Baltimore used to be home to the Bullets franchise before it relocated to the nation’s capital in 1973. Baltimore is a great sports town. The rabid crowds at Ravens' and Orioles' games are proof. They should name their franchise after a bird like the Ravens and Orioles if given an expansion team. The only downside to an NBA team in basketball is that the Washington Wizards are so close. You’d have to win over diehard Wizard fans living in Baltimore.

The Nets franchise has a storied history here. They made back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and '03. The Nets relocated to Brooklyn in 2012 and have played in the borough ever since. The Garden State has proven it can house an NBA team before. If given an expansion team, it would be the fourth team in the Tri-state area, with the Brooklyn Nets , New York Knicks, and Philadelphia 76ers playing nearby. It might be tough to bring fans into the building on a nightly basis, but if Jackie Moon could find a way, so can they.

Already home to the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates, Pittsburgh just needs an NBA team to house all four major North American sports. The Steel City has earned the right to be considered for an NBA expansion team because of its rich history as a tough sports town. An NBA expansion team in Pittsburgh could have a bitter interstate rivalry with Philadelphia. Don’t believe me; just look at the Flyers-Penguins NHL rivalry. 

Side note: Since all of Pittsburgh’s sports teams have black and yellow jerseys, the expansion team should have the same colorway to keep the tradition going.

Our rival across the pond, this team would have an immediate home-field advantage thanks to the time zone differences and long flight times. It would be one of the biggest media markets in the league from the get-go. Also, you've got so many options for naming the team. You could go with the Monarchs, Royals, or Redcoats.

A rivalry between the Boston Celtics and London would be iconic. Social media would be in a frenzy every time they play. I can imagine the memes now.

The Music City could be an intriguing spot for the NBA. The city is already loaded with tourists. Adding an NBA team to the mix could make that team a fixture in the community and for tourists who want to see their home team while on vacation in Nashville. The city already has the Titans and the Predators, proving they can house professional sports.

The Clippers used to play in San Diego until they relocated to Los Angeles in 1984. Since then, they’ve been without an NBA team. This could become a destination for the All-Star Game because of the beautiful weather. Also, who wouldn’t want to live in San Diego? It would immediately become one of the most desirable locations for free agents in the NBA.

This is a fun one to throw around. At one time, Tampa Bay was all the rave in the sports world. They solidified themselves as a true sports town after the Lightning won back-to-back Stanley Cups (2020, '21) and Tom Brady’s Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV. Things have simmered down in the heat-stricken city since then, but make no mistake: Tampa Bay has what it takes to host an NBA team. They could have an epic rivalry with the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat. We’ll see if this one happens. Watching playoff basketball a few minutes away from the beach sounds too good to be true.

Ohio sports fans are die-hards. Look at the way they cheer on the teams they already have. Cincinnati was once home to the Royals before they relocated to Kansas City in 1972. Given that they’re one of the biggest cities in Ohio, it makes sense for the NBA to consider expanding here, even if it is Ohio.

Basketball is more than a game for the people of Louisville. Similar to the state of Indiana, Kentucky is a state with a rich basketball history, and Louisville is a viable candidate for an expansion team. Louisville and Kentucky basketball are right around the corner, and their games sell out consistently. So there are definitely basketball fans here. Since Kentucky is so obsessed with the sport, it might make sense to name them after the state instead of Louisville.

Kansas City

Like the nearby city of St. Louis, Kansas City used to have an NBA team (the Kansas City Kings) before they relocated out West to Sacramento in 1985. (Geez, a lot of NBA franchises have relocated.) In this hypothetical, Kansas City’s NBA team could play in the T-Mobile Center.

Jacksonville

Duval County, baby! Home to the Jacksonville Jaguars and their daredevil mascot, Jaxson de Ville, the city is a major contender for an NBA team. The only problem is Florida's already so saturated with basketball teams ( Miami Heat , Orlando Magic). If this ever happens, they need to follow the Jaguars' lead and build a pool in their stadium. It’s only fair. I still can’t believe the Jacksonville Jaguars have a literal pool in their stadium. 

James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, was born in Canada. It’s only right Canada gets a second NBA team. While the Canadiens of the NHL are the city’s pride and joy, we could see them rooting for an NBA expansion team. The NBA has talk ed about expanding internationally before. Montreal offers a safe bet to evaluate what works and doesn’t work before taking on a city that poses a bigger risk. 

Like many other teams on this list, St. Louis used to host an NBA team. The Gateway to the West used to have the Hawks, but then they migrated to Atlanta in 1968. They were a solid team during their St. Louis era, winning the title in 1958. Home to the St. Louis Cardinals, a storied franchise, and the St. Louis Blues, there is a long history of great sports in St. Louis. The Gateway to the West deserves pro basketball again.

This would be the first pro team in either Alaska or Hawaii. You could build a stadium right by the beach! Honolulu would have a sizable home-field advantage if given a team because of flight times and the distracting beachy atmosphere. Maybe we test this one out in NBA 2K before giving it the green light.

Who doesn’t love rooting for the little guy? It would be the first pro team in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the country. This one is a bit of uncharted territory regarding NBA teams. Regardless, this one could work out if they were good enough to reel in a loyal fanbase.

Yes, it didn’t work out with the Grizzlies, but Vancouver deserves a second chance. The expansion Grizzlies didn't stand a chance in Vancouver because the NBA Draft Lottery was never in their favor. In today’s NBA (with a bigger salary cap and the desire to expand), it’s entirely possible that Vancouver could find a franchise player in no time. Also, those '90s Grizzlies uniforms were a thing of beauty. 

Virginia Beach

I know what you’re thinking. Believe it or not, this one almost happened. According to CBS News , the Sacramento Kings considered moving here, but multiple factors swayed both parties from shaking hands and putting ink to paper. However, from a sheer size standpoint, Virginia Beach is competitive with existing NBA markets like New Orleans and Milwaukee.

With a population of  8.6 million people , Virginia is one of the biggest states without an NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL team. If Virginia Beach were given a team, the entire state would root for the hometown team because it would be all they have. This makes Virginia Beach an intriguing argument for an expansion team.

David J. Hunt is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. He ran cross country at Penn State, became a volunteer firefighter during COVID-19, and is a self taught journalist. He's a diehard Philly sports fan. When he isn't watching sports, he enjoys working out, fishing, and traveling. You can find more of his writing at The Chestnut Hill Local and The Temple News. You can follow him on Twitter at @dave_hunt44 .

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Nba playoff make/miss odds and predictions for 11 teams on the fringe, share this article.

With less than two weeks to go in the NBA regular season, two of the eight play-in tournament spots are locked up — both in the Eastern Conference.

Those teams, the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, are no longer at risk of falling below the 10th seed in the East, but they can no longer move up past the seventh seed either. The Golden State Warriors could be the next team to join them as play-in tournament bound soon.

As for the remaining five spots, there’s no less than eight teams fighting to stay out of them, clawing for a top-six seed to lock-in their playoff berths sooner than later. Regardless of where they land when the music stops, the best teams playing the best ball at the end should find a way to get in.

Let’s take a look at each of these fringe playoff teams and try to predict which ones will make and miss the playoffs. Teams are listed by their current place in the standings, with how many games behind the sixth seed noted.

Eastern Conference

how do nba teams travel

Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

6. Miami Heat (42-33)

Tied with Indiana, the Heat need a strong finish to avoid the play-in tournament. Unlike last season, I believe they’ll do just that. But as we saw with last year’s NBA Finals run, the Heat are a threat to go a deep run no matter how they qualify.

Odds: Make -2500, Miss +1000 (DraftKings)

7. Indiana Pacers (0 GB)

The Pacers have been very inconsistent down the stretch, as demonstrated by their last loss to the Brooklyn Nets. So, I’m not confident they avoid the play-in tournament, where they could possibly play the Philadelphia 76ers. I’ll reluctantly take Indiana to get in — even if it takes a second play-in game — but if there was a team to take a swing on its odds to miss, this would be the one.

Odds: Make -900, Miss +550 (DraftKings)

8. Philadelphia 76ers (1.5 GB)

With Joel Embiid back, I think the 76ers have enough to get into the playoffs over the remaining play-in bound teams — even if I don’t believe his return to be enough for them to go on a deep playoff run .

Odds: Make -1100, Miss +600 (DraftKings)

9. Chicago Bulls (play-in)

The Bulls are weird in that they’re technically the worst team in this field, but I think they can beat the Hawks in their likely first-round play-in tournament clash. The problem is I think the Hawks have a better chance of beating whoever the winner would face in the second play-in game.

Odds: Make +390, Miss -550 (FanDuel)

10. Atlanta Hawks (play-in)

As I mentioned above, I would give the Hawks a better than zero chance to advance out of the play-in tournament if they were first able to get past the Bulls — who won two of three meetings this season. Even without Trae Young, the Hawks have found a better rhythm down the stretch, so they’d be the team I take a chance on between the two. But ultimately I think they both fall short.

Odds: Make +470, Miss -700 (FanDuel)

Western Conference

how do nba teams travel

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Dallas Mavericks (45-30)

Luka Doncic is on an MVP-caliber tear right now, helping lift Dallas to an 11-2 record in its last 13 games. The Mavericks aren’t missing the playoffs.

Odds: Make -10000, Miss +1200 (DraftKings)

6. Phoenix Suns (45-31)

The Suns have the NBA’s toughest remaining schedule, with all six teams left to play currently favored to make the playoffs — including two games against the No. 1 seed Minnesota Timberwolves and two games against the No. 4 LA Clippers. But while there’s no guarantee they avoid the play-in tourney, I do think they’d advance in just one game. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker wouldn’t need more.

Odds: Make -750, Miss +490 (FanDuel)

7. New Orleans Pelicans (0 GB)

Though the Pelicans technically have the easiest remaining schedule of these teams below the sixth seed, four of their six remaining games are against the desperate teams also on this list — and New Orleans might be playing the worst ball of them all right now. I think they end up in seventh or eighth and lose out to miss the playoffs again.

Odds: Make -520, Miss +370 (FanDuel)

8. Sacramento Kings (0.5 GB)

Injuries hit Sacramento at just the worst time possible, with Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter both likely out through the play-in tournament. That’s why I think the Lakers ultimately pass the Kings for eighth place and force them into a single-elimination game with the Warriors — a game the Kings will lose. If they’re able to hold on to No. 8, that only strengthens New Orleans’ chances to get in.

Odds: Make -160, Miss +130 (FanDuel)

9. Los Angeles Lakers (1.5 GB)

The Lakers sure do know how to turn it on when they need to the most. Suddenly, they have a chance to get out of the bottom two of the play-in tournament, and for all the reasons I outlined above, I think they will. But even if they have to scrap for the playoffs from the nine-seed, they’re playing good enough ball to make it happen. I would take LA over Golden State.

Odds: Make -118, Miss -104 (FanDuel)

10. Golden State Warriors (3.5 GB)

As you can tell by my picks above, I have Golden State getting in. And I promise I’m not just picking the Lakers and Warriors simply because I want these legacy teams in the playoffs. This is just truly how I see it playing out based on how these teams have performed lately. The Warriors are on a league-best five-game winning streak. Both making it obviously can’t happen if the Lakers don’t climb out of ninth place first, but I think they will. From there, the Warriors will take care of business against whoever they face.

Odds: Make +235, Miss -300 (FanDuel)

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  1. How Do NBA Teams Travel and Who Pays for Hotel Rooms?

    The NBA of the 21st-century offers fans a more candid look at the players and the product than nearly any other era of the game. Fans can see what a player does before the game, during the game, and after the game thanks to social media and expanded television coverage. One aspect of the NBA that might remain a mystery to fans, however, is how NBA teams travel to every game.

  2. How do NBA teams travel?

    When it comes to home games, players travel privately. Most of them have luxury cars and players use private keys or helicopters to avoid crowds. There is no big dilemma when it comes to traveling to visiting fields. NBA teams travel by plane to visit another arena, and ride the team plane back home. We take an in depth look at how teams travel ...

  3. How Often Do NBA Players Travel?

    Not all NBA owners have their own jets, so how do teams handle airline travel? Well, back in 2015, the National Basketball Association and Delta Air Lines Inc. reached an agreement after which 27 of the 30 NBA teams would use Delta's chartered jets that were outfitted to accommodate NBA players.

  4. How do NBA teams travel?

    The NBA travel schedule, with travel across four time zones, is as difficult as it comes. Probably, it is the worst when teams play back-to-back road games. NFL teams routinely travel as far, but only play once a week with only eight or nine road games within a regular season and most of their games are played on Sundays.

  5. NBA refs are cracking down on traveling -- whether teams like it or not

    Awards. NBA History. Salaries. NBA.COM tickets. Tickets. Trade Deadline. Traveling and carrying violations are skyrocketing. So are frustrations among players and coaches.

  6. Exploring How Do NBA Teams Travel: Air, Private Jet & Bus

    Air travel provides NBA teams with several advantages. First, it allows teams to quickly and safely travel to away games. Second, it gives teams more time to rest and prepare for the game. Third, it allows teams to avoid the tedious process of driving to their destination.

  7. Exploring How NBA Players Travel: Airplanes, Buses & Private Jets

    This article explores the different forms of transportation used by NBA players for travel, and the cost and comfort associated with each. It also examines the logistics of team road trips, how teams cope with long travel times, and the impact of travel on player performance. Lastly, it investigates the benefits of private jets for NBA players.

  8. What's behind the NBA's new focus on traveling, and how ...

    Per Pelton's analysis, travels per game have declined after the first 20 team games in 24 of the past 26 seasons, including a dramatic drop in 2019-20 when traveling was last a point of emphasis.

  9. How sleep and jet-lag influences success in the travel-crazy NBA

    The NBA travel schedule, with travel across four timezones, is as difficult as it comes. ... NBA teams play, on average, slightly over three games a week over a 26-week regular season. And they go ...

  10. How Do Professional Sports Teams Travel? Usually by Plane, But…

    How Do Pro Sports Team Travel - Overview. Professional sports teams fly and, on occasion, take buses. The majority of teams fly on chartered planes. ... You travel a lot in other popular American sports, such as the NFL or MLB, but not as much as you do in the NBA. Teams stay for a few days in these sports as well, and the number of games is ...

  11. NBA Team Planes Unveiled

    Yes, some NBA teams own their planes for travel. While not all teams own their planes, every NBA team can access private planes for the regular season and playoffs. Teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets operate Boeing 767 aircraft. Some teams, like the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets, have different arrangements and use ...

  12. NBA Changed Its Travel Rule, But It's Still Not Perfect

    In the NBA, traveling is a gray area. Officials, or when trying to decipher a walk, detectives, are put in a tough position to make these calls. Guys like Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, who manipulate the rules to their advantage, toy refs into blowing their whistle.

  13. How Do Nba Players Travel To Games?

    NBA players travel to games in a variety of ways, including charter flights, buses, and private vehicles. Charter flights are the most common way NBA teams t...

  14. The good and bad of NBA road trips

    Travel is bad for NBA players, but road trips can benefit a team by bringing them closer together and sparking chemistry which can only be created in close quarters. By Matt Moore. Dec 3, 2014 at ...

  15. Every NBA Team's Total Distance Traveled for 2021-2022 : r/nba

    Ultimate, also known as ultimate frisbee, is a team sport played by over 10 million people worldwide. This subreddit is for discussion of the sport and its teams (college, professional, amateur club, etc).

  16. How NBA Teams Travel

    During the 2015-16 season, when Delta entered the agreement with almost all of the 30 teams, they mentioned that the revenue from these `NBA' flights was about 65 million US dollars over 1700 flights during the regular season and the playoffs, for an average price of about 38 thousand dollars per flight. While Delta operates the flights, they ...

  17. How NBA Teams Travel

    The NBA started again this week, 30 teams will play 82 games each in just six months. Playing multiple games a week across the country, teams will be on the ...

  18. How Often Do NBA Players Travel? (A lot!)

    How Often Do NBA Players Travel? Each NBA team plays 82 games per season and half of them are played in other stadiums (away) while the other half is at home. So, the simple answer is NBA players take around anywhere from 42 to 100 flights a season. This includes the pre-season, playoffs, and the All-Star weekend.

  19. What Hotels Do NBA Teams Stay At? (Revealed)

    NBA Teams often travel to different cities for games. When they visit New York City, they have certain hotels they prefer. The Ritz Carlton is one choice. It's well-known for its luxury and elegance and provides great services and amenities. The Four Seasons Hotel is another favorite. It offers top-notch amenities, like spas and fine dining.

  20. How Do NBA Teams Travel and Who Pays for Hotel Rooms? (2024)

    The NBA of the 21st-century offers fans a more candid look at the players and the product than nearly any other era of the game. Fans can see what a player does before the game, during the game, and after the game thanks to social media and expanded television coverage. One aspect of the NBA that might remain a mystery to fans, however, is how NBA teams travel to every game.

  21. NBA Limits Back-to-Backs, Travel in Push to Improve Game Quality

    In an era with increased focus on rest, the NBA has substantially reduced back-to-backs. Between the 2002-03 and 2014-15 seasons, the average team played just under 20 back-to-backs per 82-game ...

  22. The NBA Went To Paris, And Got What It Came For

    Getty Images. Last week, on Thursday, February 19th, the NBA played a regular season game in France, the first on European soil since 2020. The game, between the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons ...

  23. How Do NBA Teams Travel?

    When NBA teams travel, they need suitable accommodations to ensure the players' well-being and rest. Teams typically stay in top-notch hotels that offer amenities tailored to their needs. These hotels often have fitness centers, spas, and specialized meal options to cater to the athletes' dietary requirements.

  24. 20 cities that deserve an NBA expansion team

    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Like the nearby city of St. Louis, Kansas City used to have an NBA team (the Kansas City Kings) before they relocated out West to Sacramento in 1985. (Geez, a lot of ...

  25. Which NBA teams will make or miss the playoffs? Odds and predictions

    Pick: Make. Odds: Make -10000, Miss +1200 (DraftKings) 6. Phoenix Suns (45-31) The Suns have the NBA's toughest remaining schedule, with all six teams left to play currently favored to make the ...