NBA road teams are playing with historic levels of clear-headed competence and one general manager knows who - make that what - to thank.


"No need to go to the clubs all night anymore," the GM told ESPN for an in-depth feature about NBA players' partying habits.

To summarise - bottle service and dimly lit pick-ups mostly have been replaced by room service and app-arranged hook-ups.


Messaging through Instagram actually is preferred to Tinder, according to ESPN. Players are known to have hotels leave keys for their road romances to get into their rooms before they even arrive.

"It's absolutely true that you get at least two hours more sleep getting laid on the road today versus 15 years ago," a former All-Star said.

There's more to the increasingly healthy, business-casual lifestyles in the NBA. Charter flights minimise the sleep deprivation around frequent cross-country travel and alcohol consumption has dipped, as players protect their multimillion-dollar futures.

"From the teams I've been on, nobody drinks on the plane," NBA journeyman D.J. Augustin told ESPN. "A lot of teams don't allow it.

"Guys are being smart about their bodies and their careers. Taking care of your body is the biggest thing.

"Tin-der-i-sa-tion, like the dating app. No need to go to the clubs all night anymore."

It's a far cry from the cocaine-and-booze heyday of the 80s or even the Michael Jordan at-the casino all-nighters of the 90s.

Jordan was famously caught gambling in Atlantic City the night before the 1993 Eastern Conference finals Game Two against the Knicks. The New York Times, citing two sources, reported that Jordan was outside the Bally's Grand casino until 2.30am.

Jordan disputed the report, insisting he left by 11pm.

Or consider the night before an exhibition game against the Magic in 1997, when Charles Barkley was out at Phineas Phogg's, a bar in Orlando, with Rockets team-mate Clyde Drexler.

Barkley, coming off a season in which he averaged 23.2 points and 11.6 rebounds for Phoenix, tossed a man through a glass window during an altercation. Barkley was arrested and jailed for five hours, before being released on a $US6000 bond.

Various apps have done for sex in the NBA what Amazon did for best-selling books. NBA road life is more efficient - and less taxing - when there aren't open hours spent trolling clubs.

In 1987-88, home teams had a 67.9 winning percentage. That means road teams won only 32.1 per cent of their games in the darkest of pre-social media days.

Now look at a few recent years by way of comparison. In 2007-08, road teams had a 39.9 winning percentage.

In 2010-11, (the season Instagram launched), it was 39.6 per cent. In 2013-14 (the year after Tinder launched), it was at 42 per cent.

So it seems that playing smarter off the court has changed the way the game is played on it.