The NBA return is right around the corner, and scores of players have been traveling from far and wide to rejoin their teams in preparation for the games in Orlando this summer. One question that’s been on everyone’s minds is just what level of conditioning we can reasonably expect from the players after a more than four-month absence.
The answer is that it will likely be a mixed bag, even for those who have been diligent about their diet and exercise regimens. The diaspora that happened in the wake of the pandemic meant that some players found themselves in situations where they didn’t necessarily enjoy the same access to the type of state-of-the-art exercise equipment that they are normally accustomed to.
Take Steven Adams, for instance, who left Oklahoma City soon after the hiatus and returned to his farm in New Zealand so he could be close to family. In a recent Zoom call with Thunder beat reporters, Adams talked about how he’s been spending his free time during the shutdown, joking that he’s turned to his farm animals to mimic the conditions in the post.
While at home, Adams took a break from wrestling Western Conference centers and joked that he stayed in basketball shape by “boxing out cows” on his farm.
Adams and the rest of his Thunder teammates are participating in mandatory individual workouts at the team’s practice facility before they fly to Disney World next week for training camp. The Thunder (40-24) will resume the season Aug. 1 against the Utah Jazz.
The Thunder, with Chris Paul at the helm, had been one of the NBA’s most pleasant surprises before the season shut down. They head into Orlando having clinched a playoff spot as they sit at No. 5 in the Western Conference standings.