Good news for fans of the Vanilla Gorilla
Przybilla, who has established himself as one of the NBA’s premier defensive centers – he is an outstanding shot-blocker and help defender – realizes NBA teams are probably concerned about his health.
Przybilla has twice undergone surgery for a ruptured patella tendon and had some minor, clean-up surgery in April.
Przybilla’s knee issues limited him to only 36 games last season with Charlotte and Portland. But the 31-year-old Przybilla said his knee is substantially better now.
“Last season it was probably about 50 percent,” Przybilla said. “I never said anything about that or complained about it. I just went out and played.
“I would say it’s 90 percent now. If I didn’t think my knee was fine, I wouldn’t give this another chance.”
Przybilla was so disenchanted about the chronic soreness in his knee and how it adversely affected his play last season that he contemplated retiring.
“Oh, yeah, there were times when I thought I was going to do that,” said Przybilla, who was selected by Houston as the ninth overall pick the 2000 NBA draft before being dealt to the Bucks for their first-round pick (Jason Collier) and future first-round pick. “I wasn’t playing much and, when I was playing, I wasn’t playing well.
“It was really frustrating going out there and not being able to play to my capabilities.”
Przybilla said he’s been training almost daily this summer and that his regimen includes boxing. Przybilla said he used to box during the offseason several years ago but, after suffering a hand injury, decided to give up the sport.
But he’s back punching the speed and heavy bags and said he is already seeing some positive results.
“A couple of years ago, I decided to try boxing to change my routine a little,” Przybilla said. “When I stopped, I noticed I lost some of my quickness.
“So I’m boxing again. It helped me with my quickness.”