NBA players enter the league by being drafted in the NBA Draft. Played used to enter the NBA by coming mostly from college (American colleges), with some extraordinary players leaping straight from high school, as well as coming from overseas. Now, players must be out of high school for at least one season.
The three main categories of NBA players are guards, forwards and centers. The subcategories are point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. Point guards are the floor leaders, direct the offense, and create opportunities for their teammates. They're usually the shortest, quickest player on the team. Shooting guards are usually bigger than point guards and have more of a scoring role. A good shooting guard can score by hitting outside shots as well as slashing at the rim. Small forwards, usually bigger than shooting guards, sometimes the most do-it-all players, needing to score, rebound and pass. Power forwards are bigger than small forwards and tend to be very strong, rugged players who rebound well, score close to the basket and play tough defense. Finally, centers, usually the biggest guys on the team, do what power forwards do, though in the modern NBA there are a lot more star power forwards the centers. Many big, lumbering guys that have limited basketball skills but can take up lots of space, defend and rebound play center.
InsideHoops plans to build a full player section in the 2007-08 offseason.
For now, here are some useful links:
- NBA salaries
- Team rosters
- League leaders
- Depth charts