It’s easy to dismiss players as lazy for coming into training camp sporting a tire around their midsection. They’re paid millions, so we expect them to eat, sleep and drink basketball all year round regardless of how much this cuts into their personal lives. This past Friday, we got to experience a fraction of Carmelo Anthony‘s workout with Anthony himself, and its led us to re-evaluate any earlier assessments.
As part of an event with Degree* antiperspirant, we were invited to participate in a workout with ‘Melo’s strength and conditioning coach at the Chelsea Piers gym this past Friday. The workout section only lasted around 30 minutes before we sat down to discuss the Knicks upcoming 2013-14 season, but that 30 minutes had us retching towards the trash bin, and the ensuing burning sensation in our legs intensified over the weekend, so we were limited to only the most basic movements.
I am a smoker (don’t smoke, it’s disgusting), but I go to the gym and occassionally find time to play basketball at a local park. I played for my varsity sports in high school and have played basketball since I was 6. I’m active, and I thought I was in shape. Thirty minutes of ‘Melo’s routine — which he’d already gone through before we arrived at the Chelsea Piers gym — convinced me otherwise.
We did some light stretching and warmups and then bounced down the court doing high knees and various other aerobic exercises. A two-footed broad jump across the less-than-regulation court, followed by jumping rope for just a couple minutes meant I had to stumble over to the trash can fearful I’d puke in front of everyone. I kept it together and actually made it through the last drill (and supposedly toughest) part of the morning, the full-court three dribble layup drill.
You get three dribbles to go the length of the court before laying the ball up. ‘Melo told us he usually starts the drill off by dunking the ball after three dribbles, but is usually too winded to do so at the end. We — a writer from Esquire, Maxim and myself — did eight full-court runs with three dribbles. While I made my layups, I lay prostrate and immovable for a solid five minutes after it wrapped.
Keep in mind, this was a tiny sample size of Anthony’s regular, early morning routine in preparation for training camp. There is still weight training, more aerobics and a host of other ball handling and shooting drills that we didn’t even attempt. To say I’ve got new respect for Anthony and any other NBA player that takes their conditioning to this level, would be an understatement.