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Larry Bird believes NBA big men die young. Is he right?

Stashed in: Basketball, Awesome, Basketball, Size matters.

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People think basketball is "safe" because there's less traumatic brain injury -- many players like Rajon Rondo were more or less forced by their mothers to choose basketball over football -- but it turns out that basketball players die pretty young. Their size, the damage they did to their joints, even the greater number of cells they have in those big bodies are all factors that seem to lead to a LOT more heart problems, blood clots, diabetes, and cancer.

Greater number of cells means greater chance for disease. Unfortunately. 

"In 2009, [Bill] Walton underwent an 8½-hour spinal fusion surgery that required four bolts, two titanium rods and a metal cage -- akin to an Erector Set -- to put him back together. Now he travels the country advocating for athletes to be proactive in their treatment. "We athletes are our own worst enemies," Walton says. "We don't listen to our bodies, we don't listen to our doctors. We don't realize until later in life that health is everything. Without it, you've got nothing." "

Health is everything but even doctors don't listen to other doctors sometimes. 

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