A lot has been written about the Nets’ “performance team,” and likely there’ll more. If not unique, it’s quite different from most teams — and from the Nets’ past.
In the past, there was no “performance team” as such. It was traditional with a trainer and a strength and conditioning coach, plus some assistants. Now, the team is run by Zach Weatherford, who used to run the Navy SEALS human performance program (and is a “BAMF,” according to his boss, a 23-year SEAL).
“It starts now, it doesn’t start in a rehab sort of phase, it starts with the prehab and what can these guys do ahead of time to manage the rigors of an NBA season,” Sean Marks said at last week’s press conference.
That “prehab” or preparation entails a lot of programs, from monitoring sleep patterns to diet. Diet awareness is getting a lot of attention. Brook Lopez and Sean Kilpatrick have both dropped weight (about seven pounds) while Caris LeVert and Chris McCullough have added weight (about five to ten pounds.)
It has led to sacrifice, Lopez joked last week at Media Day.
Slurpees, Icees, Sonic Route 44 Slushes with nerds or popping candy were the junk food of choice for the Nets 7-foot center, as Wright writes. Not any more.
“I’m coping well,” Lopez said. “I’m over that depression period where you break down right after giving it up and I’m at that feel-good portion after you’ve been doing it for a while.”
Sean Kilpatrick says he can feel the change in his body and what he can do as a result.
“I’m a lot faster. I jump a little higher,” Kilpatrick said. “Now I can get to the rim pretty much anytime I want.”
That new agility was on display Saturday at Open Practice.
Luis Scola, a 10 year veteran of the NBA, says if teams don’t do what the Nets are doing, they will fall behind.
“Very soon, the teams that are not doing it that way are not going to be able to compete,” he said.
In fact, as Jeremy Lin has repeated to the media. “I’ve never seen an organization care for their players holistically from a 24/7 standpoint.”