There are many speculations regarding the Blazer injuries – drafting/trading for players with previous injuries, incompetent training staff, offending the patella gods, etc. I've tended to believe it is just bad luck, but have recently wondered about something I haven't read about here (perhaps missed because the injury conjectures aren't one of my favorite topics) – and that is the floor(s).
I know that dance troupes will not schedule performances in some venues because the floors don't have enough “give”. I am curious if there is a standard for NBA floors. If there is, how much leeway is allowed? If there is a standard, how often is the floor checked and by whom? Has there been any separate research on basketball floors that share space with ice? How about our practice facility? Is that floor the absolute kindest for knees? By whose reckoning? Is there any difference at all between the feel of the practice facility floor and the Rose Garden? If there is, could that cause problems?
Do all NBA floors have to have the same finish? Exactly the same? Who decides and by what measures? Is it a balance between sticky vs slippery? How about temperature/humidity combinations at floor level – could that affect the finish or spring of the floor?
What happened to the rule about “only basketball shoes on the playing surface”? I'm thinking of Rebecca and her stiletto heels and knowing there are many people on that floor not wearing specifically basketball - or appropriate – shoes. Or is that a long ago old wives tale long since debunked?
And what about shoes? Has there been any independent research into foot/ankle/knee injuries and the shoes worn either at the time the injury occurred or worn most often during practice and games? What about shoes and floors in combination? Are there certain types of shoes recommended for player weights and/or positions? When X shoe company comes up with a player shoe, has there been independent medical verification that this is absolutely the best shoe for the player with no trade off of safety for appearance? Is there a known point at which grip becomes responsible for twisted knees? Or is this all still in the research stage and it isn't really known that, for example, big men should wear high tops and speedy players need different grip patterns from power players?
I don't expect anyone to be able to answer these questions, I'm just throwing them out for thought - and maybe one of our students is looking for a research paper topic :D