Professional basketball games are jam-packed full of action, with the talented players leaving it all on the court during each of the 82 (or more) intense matchups.

The Denver Nuggets had an impressive last season, making it to the first round of the playoffs, before being knocked out by Golden State. The young team has many promising athletes, who are constantly striving to stay at the top of their game. But it takes hard work to get to the championship, and the Nuggets weren't quite there this time.

Now that the 2021-22 NBA regular season is over, Action Network did some research to determine which of the 30 teams, as well as individual players worked the hardest. To gather their findings, the team of researchers looked at data and stats, including the total time each player spent on the court, as well as calories burned per game.

Based on the findings, the Toronto Raptors proved to be the hardest working team last season. The Canadian team covered a combined 1,548.7 miles in the 2021-22 season and also had three players placing among the 20 hardest-working NBA stars.

The efforts of the Nuggets paid off too. Denver ranked as the 9th hardest working team in the NBA last season, traveling 1,494.7 miles on the court. Center Nikola Jokić was even named MVP, adding to the overall success of the Nuggets as a franchise. The team finished 6th in the Western Conference with a record of 48-34.

The laziest team in the NBA was revealed to be the Cleveland Cavaliers.


To collect the information on the hardest-working NBA athletes this regular season, the Action Network gathered court coverage data from that specifically highlighted distances covered in miles. To determine how many calories the hardest-working stars burned during the regular season, calculations were conducted based on total minutes played and the athlete’s weight. Assuming competitive NBA games have a Metabolic Equivalent Task value of 8, the following formula was used to calculate calories burned per minute: (MET x bodyweight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200. This figure was then multiplied by the athletes' overall minutes played to reveal their total calories burned.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

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