ESPN made headlines earlier this week when a tantalizing headline appeared inside ESPN The Magazine. “Inside the Tinderization of Today’s NBA” by Tom Haberstroh finally hit the dot com on Wednesday and I got around to reading it after seeing it pop up on Twitter a few times. I mean, who doesn’t love a mainstream media look at NBA hookup culture, right? We live for that stuff. Let’s dive in!
The story starts with an anecdote about a guy named “Purple” who helps players get in to the Miami club, LIV. It then explains that home teams are winning 57.4 percent of the games in the NBA this season. That’s down all the way from 57.5 percent in 1996-1997.
One general manager calls it the “Tinderization of the NBA.”
“Tin-der-i-za-tion,” he repeats, “like the dating app. No need to go to the clubs all night anymore.”
Indeed, various apps have done for sex in the NBA what Amazon has done for books. One no longer needs to leave home to find a party. The party now comes to you. And lifestyle judgments aside, the NBA road life is simply more efficient — and less taxing — when there aren’t open hours spent trolling clubs.
Juicy. Fascinating. Can’t wait to read more about this. Onto the next paragraph!
“It’s absolutely true that you get at least two hours more sleep getting laid on the road today versus 15 years ago,” says one former All-Star, who adds that players actually prefer Instagram to Tinder when away from home. “No schmoozing. No going out to the club. No having to get something to eat after the club but before the hotel.”
And that’s it. The Tin-der-i-za-tion of the NBA takes place on Instagram and that’s the entirety of what we actually find out about it. From there the entire piece is about how air travel is better, players drink less and take better care of their bodies. Also, they’re more discrete about extracurricular activities because of the impact of social media.
Oh, and James Harden used to date Khloe Kardashian, but now Tristan Thompson does.
So… duh. NBA players are using different ways to meet women in 2017. Just like the rest of the population. They’re also using the considerable financial resources available to them to take better care of themselves. Who could have guessed? “Purple” probably.