Keeping fit without a gym a real challenge for NBA players
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
Denver’s players, if they’re so willing, have the same assignment each day: Go to their phone or tablet, launch an app and view their individualized daily workout plan that was created by the Nuggets’ strength and conditioning staff.
For now, it’s the best idea the Nuggets have — as they, like every other NBA team, are figuring out new ways to do almost everything.
Nobody knows when NBA players will be in a game again, with the season on hold because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Most don’t even have access to basketball courts right now, and every team training facility is shuttered right now for safety reasons. Public health clubs and gyms are off-limits, too.
But the workouts, somehow, continue. Teams cannot mandate that players take part, but common sense dictates that players still get some sort of workout plan to follow.
“It’s a very interesting subject,” said Claus Antunes de Souza, the Nuggets’ assistant strength and conditioning coach. “Keeping an athlete motivated when they don’t know when they’re going to perform is probably one of the hardest tasks ever. Even in an offseason you kind of have a defined date when you’re going to report back. So not having one of those dates in mind, it makes things very tricky.”
The Nuggets get their workouts to players on a platform called Teambuildr, a site where remote workouts can be programmed and progress can be tracked. The site says a half-dozen NBA teams are using its technology, with Oklahoma City, Houston, Charlotte, Minnesota and Detroit being the others — along with some Major League Baseball, NHL and NFL teams.
Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons tested positive for the virus and, last week, was deemed to have recovered. But his teammates also have had to self-isolate for two weeks, and that meant the Pistons were in the early stages of figuring out how to gather themselves as a team and try to get ready for resuming a season that — especially for a team that isn’t going to the playoffs — may already be over.
“Honestly, in my opinion at the moment, there’s almost enough time right now to almost warrant an offseason program to regain a lot of the qualities that we’ve already lost,” Pistons head strength and conditioning coach Jordan Sabourin said.