This time of the summer, most NBA players are hitting the gym, working on their conditioning and games. Like all professional sports, training camp isn’t for getting guys in shape anymore, they are expected to hit the ground running.
Some teams are taking it further — the players have organized team workouts.
Two of those are happening this week in Los Angeles — the stars of the Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans organized separate team workouts. These are both teams trying to make the next step in their evolution — the Wizards to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pelicans up into the middle of the pack in a crowded West — and their stars are taking it upon themselves to get everyone on the same page.
John Wall helped set up the Wizards’ one, which started today (Sunday), and spoke to CSNWashington.com about it.
Speaking with CSNwashington.com Saturday, Wall revealed he organized a mini-camp for his teammates that begins Sunday in Los Angeles. He expects the group together through Wednesday.
“All the guys are going to come out,” Wall stated.
His organizational skills don’t stop there. The two-time All-Star also said he’s encouraging players to arrive “two weeks early” for the team’s official training camp next month.
Under the guidelines of the CBA, the coaches can’t run or be involved in these workouts, although in the Pelicans’ case Alvin Gentry will be in town and around.
Anthony Davis, fresh out of Team USA mini-camp in Las Vegas (as was Wall) helped set up the one for Pelicans, which begins Monday, he told the New Orleans Advocate.
Under the guidance of Anthony Davis and Quincy Pondexter, 10 Pelicans gathered in Los Angeles for voluntary workouts starting Monday, with the hopes of maximizing the team’s cohesion while cutting the learning curve that implementing a new coaching system typically entails.
“Quincy and I had been talking about getting the team together and just reunite for a few days,” Davis said. “We made some calls, and a lot of guys jumped on board. It’ll be great to get back in the gym with the guys and get some work in before training camp rolls around in a few weeks.”
Do these workouts mean a few more wins for these teams next season? Probably not. But teams that are going to make a leap are going to be cohesive, in shape, and ready to roll when the season arrives. Throw in a little team bonding and it’s a good way for teams to spend a bit of August.