Why the Utah Jazz moved their weight room to the NBA campus in Orlando
ORLANDO – Donovan Mitchell turned his mother’s basement into a gym during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The All-Star goalie set up a stationary bike and bought weights online so he could try to stay in shape.
The Utah Jazz wanted to make sure their top scorer had a little more than that during that extended stay on the NBA campus in Florida. So, at the end of June, the team packed dumbbells, machines, and other supplies to the Zions Bank basketball campus, loaded it onto a truck, and transferred it to the hotel in Orlando.
“We have a weight room there in addition to what the league provides because we have very specific prep exercises and we have specific equipment,” said Utah Jazz executive vice president of operations. basketball Dennis Lindsey.
The truck with about six tons of equipment and supplies – more than 160 items in total – left the Zions Bank basketball campus at the end of June and arrived in Florida on July 1, when staff of the NBA has helped the Jazz to remotely recreate its weight room.
“Each team is different and does different things,” Jazz forward Joe Ingles said. “We are fortunate to be in a company where we can do it (transport equipment). It benefits our team. It’s just more consistent. We can do the same exercises, the same elevators. Obviously, if we only use the gym in a regular hotel, it’s very different from what we have in Utah. “
The move will help jazz players and vice president of performance health care, staff at Mike Elliott, keep the routine going in an unprecedented situation.
“Mike Elliott uses the discipline Fusionetics, which is, in simple terms, joint mobility. Our players have 15 minutes before training, 15 minutes after training. Same thing with games. It’s a pretty dynamic process to make sure their bodies have alignment and good joint mobility, ”Lindsey said.
The process of transporting much of the team’s weight room across the country was detailed and expensive, said Lindsey, but “it really comes down to what’s best for coaches, players and staff for their health.
That same principle helped Jazz officials make tough decisions about who to send to the NBA’s Orlando bubble for the restart. The team brings up to 60 people on a normal road trip, but for safety reasons teams are limited to just 35 players, coaches and staff here.
“You can do the math. There were tough choices, ”Lindsey said. “The biggest consideration was the people who were at the service of the players – the direct players.”
Ultimately, the Jazz decided to bring in as much of the team’s coaching staff – and equipment – as possible to keep players safe and healthy in Orlando.
“I’m supposed to be there right now,” Ingles told reporters in an interview on Friday, “but you’re interrupting that.“