NBA Roundtable

Dirk’s Unique Training Session

In General NBA on June 1, 2011 at 4:03 am

Dave D’Alessandro covers the story

Salmi, you might know, is the network’s “Coach in the Truck,” the kind of guy who helps make the talent sound smart. He’s been an NBA coach since the Riley Knicks (he was also an assistant in Dallas the year before Dirk himself arrived), but nowadays he just collects Emmy awards.

So workouts are not exactly foreign to him, and he showed us a tape of what he saw in OKC that morning. And it is, to say the least, unique.

Usually, coaches have one rule: Don’t practice what you don’t use in the game. It’s a waste of time that could be used on honing practical skills. But Geschwindner, a former physicist and ’72 West German Olympian who has been Dirk’s mentor for half his life, bends the rules to odd extremes.

The results are the kinds of shots you’ve seen Dirk hit throughout his brilliant postseason, and these shots will undoubtedly make the city of Miami curse his name nightly over the next two weeks.

Following up with details of specific drills

Geschwindner had him doing stuff like this:

• A pirouette at the foul line, spinning 360 degrees off one shoulder and shooting; then reversing the spin and shooting. You get dizzy just watching it.

• One-footed jumpers — both right and left, both with leg extended and knee bent — from every mid-range angle, with or without glass. All of it is the kind of up-the-ladder stuff you pull out to finish a game of H-O-R-S-E.

• Something we’ll call the Groucho Marx: He’d take two long strides while still in a crouch, pick up a rolling ball, then shoot. Going both ways.

• The Eiffel Tower: Dirk spreads his legs as far as they can go (say, 2½ feet beyond his shoulder width), reach over to touch a foot with both hands, and then catch-and-shoot from that very awkward, open position. This is the one that makes every male shield his eyes.

There was more, but you get the idea.

And no, these are not the kind of snippets you’ll find on YouTube.

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