Off-season seems to sneak up on me every year. Not in a sense of timing, more in a sense of expectations. When the season swallows you up and consumes so much of your time, the off-season starts to become this romanticized thing. For instance, as I’m writing this I’m sitting in a laundromat in Miami waiting for my workout clothes to get clean so I’ll have enough for the rest of the week. Some of you are thinking to yourself, “Why doesn’t he just do it at the hotel?” Because the hotel I’m staying at charges an INSANE amount of money to do laundry ($4 per pair of socks for example). I know I make good money but come on. Now, in my limited experience I may not be the typical case but I can only imagine it’s fairly similar for a lot of players. During the season, our time is so consumed by basketball, whether its practice, travel, or games, so many days are spent on the road or in the gym. Even game days, although games only last 2.5 hours, are a day long commitment. Up at 8:30, shootaround at 10, pre-game workouts up to 3 hours prior to tip-off, and finally arriving home at about 10:30 or 11. Because of these experiences, I start to think about all this free time that I’ll have during off season to spend on myself as well as with friends and loved ones. Because I know as much as I wish I could spend all my time with my loved ones, they feel the exact same way if not more. Unfortunately it’s impossible to get enough time together in this career. The truth is, the phrase off-season is pretty misleading in a lot of ways. At least in my own experience. The more I think about it, depending on your status in this league your time in the summer can differ greatly. Those already established names and talents have more leeway in certain areas. Those of us not yet blessed enough to be a part of that group live very different off-season lives. A huge majority of my time is spent either in the gym, or traveling to other cities to train, because in order for my dreams to come true and for me to accomplish all the goals I’ve set for myself, sacrifices have to be made. But most importantly, what pushes me to do these things is my desire to take care of those around me. However, those are the people who often suffer both during the season and out of it.
I guess this is kind of turning into somewhat of an apology of sorts to those people. I was lucky enough to have time to go to Montana and Idaho for a little while and spend time with family and friends. Everyone can relate to that feeling of being home. Something about it grounds you and gives you peace. I wish I had more opportunities like that. But during my time at home was just reminded me of all the things I’m working for and the people I want to take care of. Unfortunately to do all that, I need to be away. I just hope they all understand it’s all for them.