Do you mind catching a few basketballs? Hey, can you send my training socks? Could you take my orthotics?
Within five days after the NBA suspended play indefinitely, players were still allowed to take turns to get shots at the Chase Center. On this morning in mid-March, when six counties in the Bay Area issued orders for on-site shelters for all residents, everyone from Stephen Curry to rarely used reserves was forced to scramble for find training equipment.
The vast majority of Golden State players live in apartments in San Francisco, where space is limited despite exorbitant rents. With gymnasiums and parks closed, athletes who make millions to play basketball find it difficult to find a place to shoot jumpers, a frustrating reality for those who take pride in staying sharp and fit.
Although the Warriors cannot play again this season, they must be prepared for any scenario. The NBA may be able to host regular season games without fans as a playoff warm-up. Even though Golden State (15-50) was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, its players would prefer not to show up for games that are overweight or with a shaky jump shot.
Team coaches have sent players detailed daily workouts, most of which require little more than their own bodyweight. Much of the Warriors’ roster, including Curry and forward Draymond Green, takes part in virtual morning rides together on Peloton stationary bikes.
Curry, the only Golden State player whose main seasonal residence is outside of San Francisco, has spent more than two weeks without doing what he does better than almost anyone else in the history of the game. ‘humanity: shoot a basketball. After his wife, Ayesha, ordered a hoop online, Curry spent about five hours assembling it in the aisle of their Atherton home.
“I feel like a little 12 year old kid running around,” Curry told the Wall Street Journal. “Simulate game shots in my driveway. “
Many Warriors players have no place in their Bay Area homes for a hula hoop. To remedy this problem and spend quarantine alongside their loved ones, some are sheltering in their off-season homes.
Forward Andrew Wiggins is with his girlfriend and young daughter in Huntington, W.Va. Goalkeeper Klay Thompson, who is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the NBA finals in June, is with his girlfriend in Los Angeles. Guard Mychal Mulder moved with his parents to Windsor, Ontario.
“I have a court next door, so I’m still able to get vaccinated every day,” said Mulder. ” I’m lucky. “
Others are not so lucky. The Marquese Chriss Center, whose apartment complex in San Francisco has no hula hoop, asked Housen to drop a few basketballs so he can work on handling the balls.
Players could buy something like this online or at a store, but the Warriors advised them to go through Housen for such needs. An employee of Golden State since his days as a 12-year-old ball boy, Housen, 46, recovered everything from dumbbells to shoe inserts to mail.
Before giving the items to a player, he makes sure to disinfect them. Hand sanitizer and a few cases of water are included with each delivery.
“We have always tried to keep everything really clean,” said Housen, whose responsibilities extend to booking hotel rooms, washing uniforms and training, transporting luggage, providing the cloakroom and breakdown assistance. “You know, the laundry is done with antibacterial soap and stuff like that.
“But now it is more important than ever to disinfect everything. That’s all you touch. “
Housen has spent hours compiling a massive list of cleaning products known to kill coronavirus. Whenever the team is free to return to the Chase Center, they will incorporate them into their daily routine.
If Housen receives a call in the coming months telling him to prepare for a game, he will be ready. Everything he needs to do to complete a task of this magnitude has been described. As Housen said, “Give me 48 hours notice and I’ll make sure the guys have everything they need to be ready to go. “
The biggest question is whether the players would be physically ready. Typically, NBA teams have a week-long training camp and three weeks of pre-season exhibitions. This timeline would be greatly condensed if the Warriors played again.
“I said to the players,” Stay in shape the best you can, “said head coach Steve Kerr. “For the most part, it just means working at home. Not everyone has the ability to do it depending on where they live. It’s very, very difficult. “
Connor Letourneau covers the Warriors for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Con_Chron