Officially NBA offseason is going to start tomorrow but we already know it won’t disappoint in terms of illogical moves and huge activity [4 out of 5 busiest parts of typical season will happen in less than three weeks!].
With all that in mind I wondered: on average for how many teams does typical NBA player work for?
Especially when it’s a natural follow-up to information about average career length.
I used the same data to determine answer but with two important tweaks: I deleted all player-seasons from defunct franchises and I assumed team’s continuity [so for example, I considered Minneapolis Lakers the same team as Los Angeles Lakers]. I did it to focus on players’ movement alone not on team’s history.
And the result of those calculations was…
3458 NBA players on average spent 2.21 seasons with one team and they played for 2.51 teams.
As with average career length there’s probably a difference between starters, stars and scrubs so…
For how many teams on average NBA Players played for in various rotation roles?
Less than 12 minutes per game for a career = 1,69 teams.
More than 12 minutes per game for a career but less than 20 = 2,98 teams.
More than 20 minutes per game for a career but less than 25 = 3,30 teams.
More than 25 minutes per game for a career but less than 30 = 3,38 teams.
More than 30 minutes per game for a career = 2,99 teams.
I think there’s an interesting dynamic here… even though the last group has the longest average careers… they spend it with fewer teams! Like we really needed another reason why does it pay off to be considered among the best players in the league… ;-)
As a bonus… recently Sports Illustrated posted a gallery titled “Twenty-Plus Years with One Team” which had 21 names on it… but none of them from the NBA!
So Which NBA Players did spend the most time with one Team? Here’s a full list for 13+ seasons…
A lot of Hall-of-Fame players here… including those who will join this group in the future and 4 of them are still playing in aforementioned teams so they will move up on this list.
Finally, a curiosity: which NBA players played on most teams during their career?
- Jim Jackson [12 different teams], Joe Smith , Tony Massenburg , Chucky Brown ,
- Kevin Ollie ,
- Damon Jones , Mark Bryant , Aaron Williams ,
- Rod Strickland , Drew Gooden , Benoit Benjamin , Tyrone Corbin , Theo Ratliff , Mike James , Brevin Knight , Earl Boykins , Anthony Goldwire , Mikki Moore , Eddie House , Jaren Jackson , Tony Brown , Jason Hart , Tim Kempton , Randy Livingston , Greg Foster .
Journeymen’s Hall-of-Fame ;-)
BTW, from this list only Gooden and House are still active… will they break the record?