NBA Players Offseason: How Some Of The Best Prepare For The Upcoming Season

NBA player offseason feature image of Bradley Beal, Drew Hanlen, Tim Grover, Jaysen Tatum and Chris Matthews aka Lethal Shooter.

The NBA offseason is an important time for players to rest, recuperate, and work on improving their game. While an NBA team’s offseason usually will take on a specific nature based on many different events, an NBA player’s offseason is far more nuanced. Ultimately, the scope of a player’s offseason will be determined by their individual needs and preferences.

How Long are NBA Players Offseasons?

The length of an NBA player’s offseason will be determined by the success of their team. Once the regular season ends, the offseason begins for all players of teams who missed the postseason, while additional players begin their offseason once their team is eliminated from the playoffs. As a result, the offseason can begin for players as early as the middle of April or as late as the middle of June.

What do NBA Players do in the Offseason?

The NBA season is a grueling enterprise, with 82 regular season games and many more postseason games. Consequently, the most vital aspect of offseason basketball is rest, especially for older veterans. The physical and mental grind requires individuals to take plenty of time off, with some of the bigger stars often appearing in exclusive resorts and/or getaways around the country. However, some players, especially the younger ones, may choose to participate in international tournaments such as the Olympics.

Do NBA Players Practice or Train in the Offseason?

Players also spend large portions of the offseason practicing and training, looking to enhance their standing on their team and throughout the league. Several different trainers and programs have gained wide acclaim for their success among NBA players.

Drew Hanlen – Pure Sweat Basketball

NBA players offseason trainer Drew Hanlen training Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid and Jaysen Tatum.

Drew Hanlen is arguably the most sought-after trainer in the NBA, establishing his highly successful basketball training company, Pure Sweat Basketball, in 2012. He trains players of all types starting in early spring with potential draft picks during the pre-draft process, progressing to training sessions with players in June and July, and concluding with NBA training camps in early fall.

During the season, Hanlen will compile countless hours of game film to provide necessary insight to players to help their game. Some of the top players that have worked with Pure Sweat Basketball include Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, and RJ Barrett.

Chris Matthews aka “Lethal Shooter”

NBA players offseason trainer Lethal shooter.

Chris Matthews, known as “Lethal Shooter” on social media, is arguably the most prolific shooting coach in the world. He has worked with countless NBA and WNBA players, helping them to refine and improve their shooting skills. He is the first trainer to ever come out with a Jordan Brand Player Exclusive Shoe, the “Player Locked In’s”, a testament to his outstanding success.

Matthews currently trains Celtics forward Grant Williams, Pacers forward Daniel Theis, and Nuggets guard Kentavius Caldwell-Pope. Repetition, focus, strength, and nutrition are the 4 pillars of shooting a basketball according to Matthews.

How often do NBA Players Workout during the Offseason?

The amount of time that players will train during the offseason will vary greatly based on the needs, career status, and overall health of the player. Certain players may have specific weight goals, whether gaining or losing weight, which can also impact training time. On average, an NBA player will typically train for 5 to 6 days a week for months after the season.

Notable NBA Players

Michael Jordan

No one in NBA history trained harder than Michael Jordan, who felt an obligation to provide fans with the best possible version of himself year after year. One of the most famous trainer-athlete duos in sports history was Jordan’s relationship with Tim Grover.

Although Jordan was one of the best players in the NBA during the decade of the 80s, his Bulls’ teams repeatedly lost to the Detroit Pistons. Jordan originally hired Grover in 1989 to build up his strength so he could withstand the beating he constantly took from the Pistons.

Jordan, who had previously done very little weightlifting in his career, agreed to give Grover 30 days to prove himself, which he did. Grover not only helped Jordan improve his strength but also excelled in providing specific injury-prevention training, far ahead of its time.

Kobe Bryant and the “666” Method

On the same level as Jordan in terms of work ethic, Kobe Bryant established a highly successful personal training regimen known as the “666” method. He would work out for 6 hours a day, 6 days a week, and 6 months out of the year on average. His daily 6-hour routine was broken into 3, 2-hour segments, comprising basketball skill development, weight training, and track/running.

When Laker teammate Caron Butler joined the team in 2004, he was blown away by Bryant’s work ethic. Bryant himself had just signed a $136 million deal with the Lakers and proceeded to ask Butler if he was ready to “blackout”. After signing his massive contract, which some players may have used as an excuse to become complacent, Bryant mentored Butler, putting him through intense, 2-a-day workouts.

While the NBA Draft, free agency or the NBA Summer League may garner the biggest headlines in the basketball world during the offseason, the most important aspect of the offseason is the individual training that players will complete. While some of the best players in the history of the NBA often get the biggest headlines in the training world, many trainers themselves have helped to revolutionize the sport as well.

Drew Hanlen, Chris Matthews, and Tim Grover may all someday be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame due to their significant contributions to basketball development and physical training.