NBA AM: Are Team Workouts In The NBA Rare?
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Much Ado About Something Really Common: While training camps in the NBA don’t open until the end of September there is an unspoken schedule of events that’s starting to take place. While some of those actions are getting some attention in the media, there is a normalcy to all of it.
The Brooklyn Nets are getting a little love in the media as the bulk of their squad is headed to Los Angles for some “team building”. Because it’s Brooklyn and because it’s one of the biggest media markets in the world, this is obviously going to be basketball news in August, but the truth is this is really common in the NBA.
In NBA gyms around the country groups of teammates are going at each other. The New York Knicks will be doing it as well. The Orlando Magic have also been doing it for most of the summer.
Most teams encourage their guys, especially teams with lots of new faces, to get into the gym together. In fact most teams want their players in town the first week of September and in their practice facility well in advance of the opening of camp for this very reason.
The quicker guys can find a rhythm, the faster they can find a pecking order, a rotation and ultimately success.
The LA Clippers have been running informal pickup games as a squad for weeks, they have even invited outside players to scrimmage against them.
So while the idea of teams getting together for “team building” makes great copy, it’s not all together uncommon. Actually what’s becoming more uncommon are the teams that don’t have some kind of team building workouts in the offseason.
Those are the teams to target, because those teams are going to start camp behind the curve a little and those teams may be the ones to worry about.
The NBA will open training camp for those teams holding exhibition games aboard on September 27. The rest of the NBA will open camps on September 30.
So if you are running those numbers in your head, we’re 39 days away from NBA getting back at.
Where exactly did the summer go?
We Want To Know: Some teams made massive changes to their core players, so we want to know from you:
Remember Carlos Arroyo?: Puerto Rico National team captain Carlos Arroyo last played in the NBA in 2010-11 when he logged 49 games with the Miami HEAT and 15 games for the Boston Celtics. Since 2011 Carlos has played abroad, most recently with the Turkish Basketball League champion Galatasaray Liv Hospital, a team he recent signed a two-year extension with.
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Carlos as he wrapped up National team training camp and talked with him about playing in Turkey and what’s next for him as his career begins to wind down.
“I’m having one of the best times in my career,” Arroyo said of playing in Turkey. “I’ve been fortunate enough the last couple of years to win the championship over there. This year we’re going to be playing more Euro teams in Euro leagues, but people have opened themselves up to me and my game. I’ve been looking forward to getting back to Turkey all summer. It’s a big city, 18 million people in Istanbul, but it’s something you adjust to. It’s a different lifestyle and everything, but I know my purpose and I know I have to sacrifice all that I can to keep playing basketball with honor and integrity and just keep doing it.”
The 34-year old Arroyo still looks like he could give NBA guard fits, but said he’s not sure how much longer he’ll keep playing.
“I don’t know,” Arroyo said. “I feel good right now. I keep myself in shape, playing with the National team in the summer helps me a lot, just stay in rhythm and in shape, try to eat right as much as I can. Coming from a Puerto Rican family, we eat a lot of fried food so it’s tough, but I try to stay professional as much as I can, try to honor my family and rest as much as I can. I love playing the game and I don’t know when I’ll be done. I just signed a two-year extension in Istanbul last year, so I’m excited about that. So, we’ll see in a few years.”
Arroyo plays a huge leadership role for the Puerto Rico National team and looks natural teaching and coaching the younger guys, but jokes about his future as a coach.
“I don’t know,” smiled Arroyo. “You have to have a lot of patience and understanding of what’s going on as a coach. I wouldn’t know when I’m done playing what I want to do.
“I don’t know what road I want to take once I retire, you just have to be willing to learn new things and like I said, have patience, be able to teach the game and see it from a different perspective. Obviously, with the knowledge of the game and the experience I have, hopefully I’ll be able to teach some guys I know. But, I’d love to coach, if I have the opportunity.
“When I was in Boston with Doc [Rivers], we spoke about it. There’s a possibility there and I’d love to work with Doc as well. I’ve kept in a lot of contact with people and coaches to this day and I have a lot of respect for what they do. Also in Miami with [Erik] Spoelstra, we talked a lot about life after basketball, so we’ll see.”
While Arroyo says he’s committed to finishing out his contract in Turkey, he has gotten calls from NBA teams but accepts that his time in the NBA as a player is likely over.
“I’ve had the chance to make a decision to go back or not and to be honest with you,” Arroyo said. “The nine years I spent in the NBA I took great advantage of and learned a lot, met great people and lived my dream.
“I thought it was time to move on and I wanted to be more productive on a team and I actually wanted to have the responsibility of a team winning games and have the ball in my hands at the end of games and just making plays, me and myself.
“I felt like the last couple years playing [in the NBA] I wasn’t even having fun, so I decided to move on. In Turkey, they opened their doors for me, allowed me to play my game and show what I can do and just feel more relaxed when you’re out there. Definitely, I’m grateful for the NBA for all those years and the teams that opened their doors to me, I’ll always be grateful for that.”
Arroyo’s Puerto Rico team beat the Dominican Republic squad this weekend in the first of several warm up games for the FIBA Americas Championship for Men at the end of the month in Venezuela.
In Case You Missed It: Every off season we end up with more video interviews than you can possibly have seen so here are a couple of more in case you missed one.
Suns' guard Kendall Marshall talks about his summer league, what he's working on and what he expects from his team this season.
Raptors' guard DeMar DeRozan talks about the Raptors' summer, all the changes and what he expects from the team this year.
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