The odds of any random individual that takes up the sport of basketball making it to the National Basketball Association are astoundingly small. There are 30 teams in the league with 12 roster spots available, meaning that there are only 360 NBA players at any one time. Here are the factors that make it nearly impossible to make it to the NBA.
The NBA is comprised of elite basketball players that function at the highest possible level of the game. They need to be in excellent physical condition to withstand the rigors of an 82 game season, a possible run in the post-season, training camp and an exhibition schedule. They needs to be talented enough to play basketball against the best in the world. The various positions on a team include a point guard to direct the offense, a shooting guard that has the ability to score from long distance, a center to anchor the defense and dominate under the basket and small and power forwards to score and defend, plus rebound. The chances of developing NBA caliber skills are not high.
What was once just an American game has expanded around the world and is becoming popular in many countries. This has meant an influx of foreign talent has flowed into the National Basketball Association in recent years. As the game continues to grow abroad this means that their will be an increased competition for roster spots. Instead of competing for a place on a team against only players from the United States a prospective NBA player now faces challenges for his spot from around the world.
Another factor in being able to make an NBA roster is size. Players under 6 feet tall in the annals of the NBA are extremely rare. Guards that are less than 6 foot 4 inches are often considered undersized. Forwards are now as tall as centers used to be, often being 7 feet in height. Centers under 6 foot 10 inches are non-existent. Just the odds of a person growing to the height of an NBA player are very small, never mind having that type of body with NBA ability.
NCAA Division I schools that field basketball teams number over 300. The odds of being good enough to play for one of them are extremely high. Now factor in that there are only two rounds to the NBA draft, where potential players are chosen by each team. Most of these players come from college programs, meaning if you are not one of the very best in college you will have no shot of being considered by an NBA club.
The odds of becoming an NBA player are certainly against you but there are many examples of unheralded players becoming stars in the league. Hard work, practice and determination paid off for players such as Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Joe Dumars and Calvin Murphy, who all came from unheralded college programs to become stars.