NBA players aim to stay in shape during lockout

Magic guard Jameer Nelson says a prolonged lockout would not alter his focus: "No matter what, I'm going to stay in shape."
Magic guard Jameer Nelson says a prolonged lockout would not alter his focus: "No matter what, I'm going to stay in shape." (JOHN RAOUX / Associated Press)
Posted: July 15, 2011

For now, not much has changed in the lives of NBA players as the league's lockout continues into its second week. Even in times of labor peace, little basketball is played during July anyway.

But if the work stoppage drags on into August and beyond - which looks likely - the players must find a way to get in shape and sharpen their skills without the benefit of their teams' facilities and support staffs.

Although those under contract are not prohibited from playing full-court basketball during the offseason, they are not under their teams' coverage if they get hurt in a summer-league game, a charity game, or while playing for a team in Europe.

"No matter what, I'm going to stay in shape," said former St. Joseph's star Jameer Nelson, who plays for the Orlando Magic. "Just continue to work hard and try to get myself better. I want to continue to be who I am."

Nelson was in town last week to take part in the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge at Philadelphia University, where 120 high school players from around the nation spent five days testing their games against one another.

The camp was headlined by Washington Wizards guard John Wall. Jason Terry, who helped the Dallas Mavericks defeat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, also was on hand.

The lockout "was a blessing because we are the NBA champs, so obviously, our season was longer than others," Terry said. "The rest has been much-needed. But I'll be back in the gym in a couple of weeks. I'm going to stay ready so I don't have to get ready. I'm going to do the same things I've done through my entire career, doing all the little nuances you like to do - stairs, track.

"All of that is a part of the journey along the way in preparation to try to realize your ultimate goal. And all of us will have an opportunity to win. Going into next season, there is no champion."

Terry said he planned to return to his alma mater, Arizona, to get some work in during the coming weeks. Wall said he would go back to Kentucky, where he played for the Wildcats as a freshman before he became the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft.

"This was my first year, so I learned what the NBA is about," Wall said. "I'm just going to work out initially, and I'm going to watch as much film as I can and get better for next year. And I'll play in a couple of summer leagues here and there. I know the things I need to work on to develop and get better."

Nelson, Wall, and Terry said they were not interested in playing overseas if the labor issues are not settled soon.

Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or


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