Doing My Best to Be Ready

Being in LA this time of year has been really different. I was just talking to some friends about how, at this time of year for the last three years, I’ve been used to being up in Milwaukee and it being cold.

The weather is not this nice. I live in Santa Monica right by the beach and the weather this time of year is great. In Milwaukee the weather is just getting cold, the sky is grey. Here we just had a heat wave a few weeks back and it was like 90 degrees. I was just like, “Wow, this is great. »

It’s been a fun offseason, but I’m more than ready to get back to playing the game I love.

At the same time, my body is ready to get to work. I’m not used to sitting around at this time. This is the time when things get going. Because of that, I’ve been training a lot out here in LA. I’ve really been focused on that for the last two months. Hopefully we’ll be getting close to a deal real soon, so I want to be ready when the season starts.

But it’s kind of a weird situation working out during the lockout because you really don’t know when to peak in your workouts. You don’t want to peak and then have to wait two or three more weeks. That would be bad. So I’ve maintained a steady workout regimen where I’m right there in the middle, a week or two away from peaking physically.

I work out with a personal trainer to make sure I maintain my regimen. I’ve worked out with Arron Afflalo a few times because we have the same personal trainer, and we’re in the same boat with the lockout. We play a little one-on-one or do some drills together sometimes.

As an NBA player waiting this out, you don’t want to be in a phase when you’re going too fast too soon, because then when we get that call your body may be in decline and tired right before the season. I’ve just been trying to stay in the same phase of training.

I’ve been working a lot on my jump shot and my basketball skills, just so I can have my body right. I probably put up about 500 to 650 makes per day and with the shots and the basketball drills training, I’m in the gym for at least two hours every day. Then I have another hour and a half of weightlifting and doing body work.

Other than working out, I’ll go to the beach here in Santa Monica a lot. I like to ride my bike around the beach and hang out with some old friends from college.

LA has so many things to offer, so I just try to do different things around town. I love jazz music, so I got to local jazz events when I can. Being in a metropolitan area like LA, there are so many different restaurants and other different venues. I’m trying to enjoy it while I can.

It’s a lot different to live in LA as a professional than it was as a poor college student. I can definitely afford better restaurants than I did while I was in college. As a college student you’re limited as to what you can do financially. As a pro athlete, I’m blessed to be in a situation where I can afford to do some things and explore a city like LA a little more broadly. It offers a different look at the city than when I was in college here and helps me appreciate everything I have.

I’ve definitely made the most of my time here. There are a lot of people here that I have reconnected with, friends from college that I usually don’t get a chance to see and who I haven’t talked to much in three years. So for me to have the opportunity to get back to them, reestablish those friendships, it has probably been the best part of all of this. It’s really great to see how they’re all doing and share my experiences with them.

I have visited the UCLA campus some and talked to different professors about what I’ve been up to with my camp in Cameroon. I don’t get much of a chance to talk to people in LA during the season, so it was good to be able to do that. I stopped by Coach Howland’s office a couple times while I was on campus and got a chance to talk to him a little bit. He told me about the team and what they’re trying to do to get better.

They’re definitely in a period where they’re rebuilding, but they should have a better team this year and definitely much better the following year. I’m excited for them, I think this is going to be a good year and set them up for a few really good years. Maybe I’ll even get out to a game or two.