Posted by Alex Bonilla on August 14, 2020
Thanks to work from summer intern Amy Huddell and the research of APBR President Emeritus Robert Bradley, Basketball Reference has greatly expanded its database of gap years for NBA players. Specifically we've added 704 new records in addition to the previous gap year data we had on the site. This includes mid-season career interruptions, first-season injuries and situations where they were still on the roster for their final season but did not play.
Often mid-season career interruptions are injury-related, such as Derrick Rose's ACL in 2012-13 or Greg Oden's various knee ailments. Occasionally there are other reasons like Robert Reid in 1982-83 voluntarily retiring to pursue the ministry or Red Morrison in 1956-57 who went into the construction business before making a return the next season. There are a couple of players such as Charlie Paulk and Dick Rosenthal who had gap years due to military service.
Notable end-of-career notes that we've added include Wilt Chamberlain sitting out his final year under contract with the Lakers and Alex Groza being suspended indefinitely for his involvement in the CCNY point shaving scandal.
Another gap year situation is players in international leagues between getting drafted and making their NBA debut, or players extending their careers internationally. Recent examples of this that were added in this batch include Patrick Beverley and Stephon Marbury.
We hope that adding this context to player pages helps people browsing the site understand their careers a little better. Thanks again to Amy Huddell and Robert Bradley for their help with this project. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.