17 Myths About the NBA You Shouldn’t Believe

Two NBA players battling for control of the ball

Did the NBA rig the lottery in 1985? | Mark D. Phillips/AFP/Getty Images

Throughout the history of the NBA, there have been plenty of myths and conspiracies. The fans and media like to pick up on certain narratives and play them out, regardless of whether they’re true or if there’s real evidence or stats to back them up. But the cliches don’t necessarily back up what we’ve seen with our own eyes over the course of history; defense wins championships, referees favor the stars, and the lottery is rigged. We have 17 NBA myths that you just shouldn’t believe.

17. Nobody plays defense

Draymond Green shouts during a game while playing for the Golden State Warriors

Nobody plays defense? Draymond Green begs to differ | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

This is an old trope that’s really just untrue, but it’s understandable why the untrained eye might think that collegiate basketball players play better defense than NBA players. In general, only a small percentage of the best college players end up in the NBA.

College basketball is a much slower game with fewer elite-level athletes, which makes for less great scoring drives, less deep three-pointers, and overall less offense. In the NBA, even the guys at the very end of the bench who can’t get onto the court were once one of the best players in college. They play defense, it’s just that the offensive talent sometimes makes it a moot point.