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What Are The Odds Of Making It To The NBA?

Updated on September 13, 2016

According to the National Federation of High Schools, there are 17,969 high schools in the country with a basketball program for a grand total of 540,207 aspiring NBA players.

Now, on top of having to have the body to play this game at the pro level, you always have to be mentally tough enough to take ANYTHING.

The odds of having both? Even LESS then the odds of making the NBA.

Before we do the actual math, let's look at this supposed dream of yours and mine.

First off, let's start with the you get jet-lag? Consider an NBA schedule and tell me that isn't the most draconian thing ever. Baseball players play twice as many games in a season as basketball players and travel around too but they play three and four game sets. Sunday night they land in Philadelphia, they don't leave until Wednesday or Thursday. An NBA team has logged sometimes as many as three flights by then. And it goes on for at least six straight months. Let's be nice and say twice a week they might fly. Six months has twenty-six weeks because a year has fifty-two. So twenty-six straight weeks of this. Before the playoffs. So to make the NBA, you have to be able to shrug off the fatigue of jet-lag.

Second, the NBA is different than what you or I would consider basketball. A beautiful entity it is, one I would keep as I flush everything in this world down the f-cking toilet but oral sex and about ten DVDs. But just like any other beautiful, worthwhile entity -- it has recently been plagued by scumbags, scoundrels, thieves, loons and accountants. It is almost as staged as wrestling, arguably more because at least a body slam you see in wrestling is really happening. Every NBA team consists of a supposed star player who is never allowed to foul out unless it's a matter of him versus a star player from Los Angeles, Miami or New York. Whatever your individual talent is that gets you to the NBA, you will have a coach who will a) be accused of not having the chops or the temperament necessary to be a leader and employ his (i.e. Tex Winter's) methods, b) give TWO RATS OF A LIMP FLYING F*CK that his STAR F*CKING PLAYER is TARDY!!!!! These pricks want to be "legendary" so they tell the pilot to take off while their only rebounder is simultaneously shaving, putting on his tie, and running after them on the tarmac. Part of the beauty of basketball is imagination and creativity. When you're a one in a million athlete, are you going to be able to take some four foot tall piece of Knute-Rockne-wannabe shit trying to tell you that being eighteen minutes late to a practice matters? You live in Malibu and the Staples Center is in Inglewood, so clearly I had long left the house if I'm only eighteen minutes late, motherfucker! God I hate supervisors. And if you make the NBA, you will too. But it's not so much that these guys have religious affiliation that makes them lame dumb party poopers and excruciating conversationalists to the point that they have to be strict with other adults like they're their children to mask these otherwise glaring and dangerous deficiencies...the NBA coach is treated real real real bad. He is never going to be regarded as important to the financial cushion of the team as the players, nor do owners give half a damn if there's a championship trophy at the end of all this. How much do you get for having a Larry O'Brien trophy? Exactly. So to make the NBA and stay in the NBA, you gotta have good work habits and be able to get the approval of religious people.

Third, those owners. Like any American business not run by Mark Cuban, lots of owners are retards. You don't charge a family of four 600 dollars to watch your product. That's what a tool does. No consideration at all for REPEAT BUSINESS, IDIOTS!!! Plus the owners are in a sort of hard place as it is...Giving the players what they want will only decrease your leverage with them. Michael Jordan -- yes I always bring him up because he was f*cking f*cking awesome -- also turned out to be the very last person on this planet who should have been given even a tiny ego boost. He made at least 40 million dollars every single year he was with the Bulls because of the endorsements. Finally in 1996 he tells the Jerrys he wants thirty million in 97 and thirty-six million in 98. It wasn't enough for His Airness to have his forty million a year, he wanted those fat douche-lords who ran the Bulls to be the ones to provide the money. It served them right, and my point is, this is the end result of owners and general managers hinting that their players have even a shred of value. What would have stopped the Jerrys from being milked for more? Why did Jordan stop at thirty-six? Anyone who lowballs as continuously as the Jerrys did, who so stubbornly insist that Scottie Pippen should be the 9th highest paid player in any playoff series and mess with Brian Williams when they know he's not right is revealing something damning about themselves when Jordan says thirty-six million and they're still listening. Clearly it tells Jordan and his agent David Falk that the Jerrys would have given anything anything for Jordan to stay in Chicago. I would have asked for ninety million. As such, in 2012, the NBA has a salary cap, so if you're not going to be a top flight, top shelf marquee're going to get dicked. A salary cap in a league where there's a designated star position, then a sidekick, then a role once one guy on your team is making big money, that's it. One guy. If a lockout happens, you'll have to go play in a country that might require the f*cking CIA to get you back out (see Kenyon Martin). Sure you might be like a Derek Fisher or a Rajan Rondo -- a real real valuable player who only gets better and smarter and has his stock rise consistently with the years -- but so what? Most of the managers and owners couldn't care less whether they win or not anyway. There's probably no franchise in any team sport that's as valuable as the Portland Trailblazers. Need I say more? What's the point? You provide your fans a championship in 2008, lots will be mad at you if by 2012 you don't have at least one more. Once the fans are signaled that winning is not otherworldly impossible, you gotta keep winning or else it's because you're cheap and a tyrant. Look at Chicago -- all five of their major teams...all of them have one or two (or six) championships in the last twenty years except the Cubs...and I ask you...which team gets the most love?

And so, the math...

Even if you got to be 6'8'' and a great shooter, what are the odds that you could take your girl sleeping with an opponent, and then having to listen to the opponent's smack talk? This happens ALL THE TIME. In some places, the players will often flash gang signs as they come down the court. How would you like to receive one of those if you're 15 and assigned to stick him on defense?

Then, what are the odds that the mentally toughest going to receive the encouragement from parents that see him playing basketball all the time and not doing any homework?

I'm sorta Jewish, and let me tell you...none of our moms were going to tolerate us shoveling the snow out of the driveway just to play basketball in the cold deep into a school night like Magic Johnson.

The odds are so great that the appropriate mental toughness will be in a college athlete's body that 95% of these folks don't even survive in a college environment where they get titties and free money and free worship in exchange for playing the game they're NATURALS at.

These college positions have to be filled anyway, regardless of the sheer odds of a kid who's truly ready for it.

So anyway...

There are 312 teams in division I college ball. That means there's less then 4,000 spots for these 540,000 players.

The NBA has 60 draft selections.

34 of them make the team.

34 out of 540,000...but WAIT...we didn't figure in overseas players who the NBA has almost as many as American born.

So let's cut that in half.


The odds are 16 out of 540,000 of you making the -- BUT WAIT --

What about all those high school players who go right to the pros? A lot of them are the best in the league, Jermaine O'Neal, Kobe, Darius Miles, they'll take your spot for sure. And if they're not foreign born, then that's essentially the top 9 picks of the draft.

So that's 16 minus 9.


The odds are 7 in 540,000 of a real real real good 14-year old basketball player of making it to the NBA.

You ever heard of Gerry McNamara? Well he played at Syracuse with Carmelo Anthony and they won the 2003 NCAA title. And McNamara was their second option. He looked a lot like Neil Reed but with real pudgy cheeks.


Gerry McNamara as a sixth grader literally creamed all the eighth graders at his school. I don't know the specifics, one-on-one or team play or organized competition, but absolutely NONE of the eighth graders or coaches or CHICKS had any doubts that this sixth grader was the best.

Gerry McNamara was not drafted.

Ronnie Fields, the most exciting high school basketball player in HISTORY, was not drafted.

Scotty Thurman, the hero of the 1994 NCAA title game from Arkansas, not drafted.


So that means that the 1992 Dream Team, guys who are at the top of this league for many many years at a time...that's like all these odds mentioned times 8 or 9 of being Stockton, Jordan, Bird, Barkley, Ewing, etc.

If you want to see some stuff that's kick ass, I got these friends in Canada who do this series called Comedy Made Short and they're making a series called "Stand-Ups". Any small donation will help these cats a ton, and in exchange I'll promote the hell out of your book, your script, your send some funds, Daniel Christopher Lee, 1611 Belinda Court, Pickering Ontario L1V3T4, and go to Comedy Made Short on youtube as well as "Ms.Ktay" and "Reel Reviews" and "Reel Professionals".



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    • profile image

      Johnk456 3 years ago

      Some truly select blog posts on this web site , saved to fav. dedbckdacked

    • profile image

      Zach Austin 4 years ago

      remember my name.....Zach white and i will be in the nba. Just watch.

    • profile image

      THEBESTGAMER14 5 years ago

      This person didn't make it to the nbA

    • profile image

      MY DREAM IS NBA 5 years ago

      Thanks for this it helped me but no one can stop me from making my dream happen

    • profile image

      Shep 5 years ago

      Oh, my goodness. I think I laughed out loud five or six solid times reading this. Very funny.

    • profile image

      nice try 5 years ago

      heard it all b4..yet still nba bound

    • profile image

      Michael 5 years ago

      I've been playing basketball since I was a little kid I say if you have a dream and you want to make it there it shouldn't matter what the pdds are. Go out work hard every day and do your best

    • profile image

      pgorner 5 years ago from Tijuana, Mexico

      Not at all. No dream crushing here -- I just needed something to write about that a lot of people would read. But since hubpages dismantled the ads, it doesn't matter anyway. Besides, how many people out there really play basketball trying to get the ball in the hoop? They just want to look like they're fitting in. They drive, miss, complain that somebody fouled, and that's all it is.

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      Young Player 5 years ago

      Is it weird that this didn't crush my NBA dreams?

    • profile image

      pgorner 5 years ago from Tijuana, Mexico

      I didn't say ALL players, and I saw first hand everything that I did write. And if you don't like the numbers, take it up with the National Federation of High Schools, it's their numbers. You better believe some players are thugs, lots of them flash gang signs, and if they weren't naturals, they would not buck the odds with all their hard work. But it's always nice to hear from the ass-kissers!

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      David 5 years ago

      this was a terrible post, not all players sleep with their opponents girl, not every player is a thug which is very offensive.and this has no purpose and those numbers aren't correct at all and you sound like your making an excuse rather than make a point.those players worked their tales off to be the such thing add naturals.

    • profile image

      pgorner 5 years ago from Tijuana, Mexico

      hell yeah

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      Michael Gordon aka Air Gordon 5 years ago

      I have what it takes to make it to the NBA.