The New York Yankees shortstop is set for another playoff appearance.
Back in the late 80s, the home team in a given NBA game beat its visiting opponent 68 percent of the time, according to ESPN. That number has declined since, and this season it's at an all-time low: Despite the controversy of star players sometimes resting during road games, home NBA teams now beat their visiting opponents just 57 percent of the time.
What gives? To be sure, travel is more streamlined and players take better care of their bodies nowadays. But basketball insiders point to another helpful development as well: Technology has made it easier for NBA players to get laid.
We didn't just make this bizarre theory up, either. It's a major takeaway from an ESPN The Magazine piece that was posted online Wednesday and looks at how NBA stars balance their jobs with the festive trappings of celebrity life.
In the article, an unnamed NBA team general manager tells ESPN's Tom Haberstroh about what he calls the "Tinderization of the NBA."
"Tin-der-i-za-tion," this general manager explains. "Like the dating app. No need to go to the clubs all night anymore."
Ah. I see.
Haberstroh's piece also features this amazing quote from a player identified only as a former NBA All-Star:
Ugh, so much hassle.
Don't go scouring Tinder for your favorite star, though. This former All-Star tells Haberstroh that NBA players actually prefer Instagram to Tinder when it comes to arranging hook-ups. (Dating tip: Tinder, Instagram, Venmo, Google Docs — any app can be a hookup app if you make it one!)
Then there's Cleveland Cavaliers wing J.R. Smith, whose own lewd proposition to a fan was leaked four years ago. "You trying to get the pipe?" is a phrase that will live on forever in NBA internet lore.
But Smith has always been a man ahead of his time. This is, after all, the visionary who introduced the world to the hover-board well before that fad caught on.