The average pay of an NBA athlete was $8.2million for the 2020/2021 season. When a team is willing to pay that much to a player, they only expect the best performance and nothing less. To evaluate an athlete’s fitness, practice, and playing level, the NBA Draft Combine is held.
The combine is a multi-day event where everything regarding the players from athletic evaluation to physical fitness testing. If you are a player looking to compete in the NBA combine or a coach preparing your basketball players for it, this article covers everything you need to know on the topic in full detail.
The NBA Draft combine is very similar yet vastly different from the NFL Combine. The respective league officials are invited to a central location in both of these events. The officials have a look at the players and evaluate them physically and medically.
However, the NBA draft consists of just two rounds as opposed to the seven smaller rosters of the NFL combine. The number of players competing in the NBA draft is also typically lesser than NFL. For example, there were 69 attendees in the 2021 NBA draft and more than 300 in the NFL combine.
The NFL draft combine event consists of drills and athletic testing, whereas in the NBA combine, the players also compete in 5v5 scrimmages, making it more of a public event.
The sole purpose of the NBA draft combine is to evaluate and rank prospective players according to their fitness and ability. The event is typically held in May, before the NBA Draft in June. The process can be divided into three parts, drills, scrimmages, psychiatric evaluation, and physical fitness and athletic performance stats.
The first step is to divide the players according to the responsibility they are going to have in the game. The groups of players formed at this stage are:
The instructors then run specific drills in each group corresponding to the players’ responsibility in that group. These drills are just like the ones done in basketball camps but at an advanced professional level. The most popular ones of these include:
The goal of these drills is to test the players’ comfort level while they perform their duties.
After the drills, the players are tested and evaluated based on how they perform in the game and their physical fitness and athletic performance stats.
The testing in the NBA Combine Test can be divided into three parts:
This is the most high-profile part of the NBA Draft Combine. The players are divided into groups of 5, and scrimmages are arranged. While it is entertainment for basketball fans worldwide, it is the ideal opportunity for the team managers to judge and evaluate players’ performance in the real game. These things cannot be otherwise tested or reflected in stats.
The final round of the combine is all about stats. The physical fitness level and the athletic performance of players are tested using quantitative measures.
The goal of psychiatric evaluation is to determine the ten core dynamics of the players. These are:
Suppose we have a critical look at the procedure of the NBA Draft combine. In that case, the test mainly focuses on the following core abilities of the players:
So, when making a basketball training program, you need to incorporate drills that focus on improving the efficiency of the players in these areas. The thing to note is that the competition is among the best players in the nation, so the basketball training program devised needs to be nothing short of perfection.
The drills we are going to discuss do not include playing basketball. That’s because those drills are already a part of your basketball training program. We are focusing on the improvement of core skills of the players that will ultimately make them better players and help them perform better in the NBA combine test.
Visual and spatial processing is a person’s ability to process visual stimuli to develop an understanding of the spatial relationship between different objects. The cognitive functions required for this skill are perception, memory, attention, language, motor skills, and executive functions.
This drill can help players improve this aspect of their game.
Reaction time is the time taken by a player to detect an external stimulus and consciously react to it. As basketball is a fast-paced game, reaction time is very important to perform well in it. Here’s a simple drill with Blazepod pods that can help improve the reaction time of players.
To perform in a competitive sport like basketball, the players have to make decisions quickly and under a lot of pressure. To make that easy for the players, it is a must to incorporate decision-making drills in your basketball training program. Here’s a drill that can help your players improve on this.
Agility can be defined as the ability to rapidly change the direction of the body with speed and accuracy. It is probably the single most important skill to have to be great at basketball. Luckily for players, this skill can be learned through practice and drills. One simple drill that can be very useful to improve agility is as follows:
After all, it is basketball, and the training program cannot be complete without a typical dribbling drill. Here’s an advanced dribbling drill that will benefit the players during the scrimmages and the ‘eye test’ at the combine.
All that you need for this drill is one player and three balls.
The only instruction for the player is to dribble all three balls so that none of them bounce twice without them touching. It might seem simple, but it is a tough drill and will help the player improve in the dribbling area.
If you have a detailed look at the NBA Draft Combine stats for the 2021-22 season, five key takeaways can help the players train and prepare smartly for the competition:
The NBA Draft combine is an event where players are tested and evaluated before the teams bid to have them on their side. This multi-day event consists of screening the players according to their physical, athletic, and mental fitness.
We have listed some of the drills and some stat-based tips to help the players perform well in the combine and get a better rank. If you are an athlete or a coach, consider using Blazepod pods to keep track of your performance or that of your players.
Yes, there is a combine for the NBA. It is called the NBA Draft Combine and consists of up to one week of testing various aspects of prospective players’ fitness and athletic abilities.
The NBA Combine divides the players into categories, psychiatric evaluation, 5v5 scrimmages, and physical and athletic testing.
You need to start playing basketball from high school level. If you are on your high school basketball team, you can get into the college team, which would be your entry into the NBA Combine. Most of the players are selected from colleges. The NBA sends invitations to distinctive athletes, and only they can attend the combine.
The NBA Combine usually invites less than 100 players every year. In the 2021-22 season, 69 players were invited to the event.
Keon Johnson currently holds the NBA Combine vertical jump record. He recorded a jump of 48 inches in the 2021-22 season.
The NBA bench press record currently stands at 27 reps @ 185lbs, held by Jason Keep. This record was set in 2003.
Yes, the NBA combine is held every year in May, before the NBA Draft typically happens in June.