After the Cavs had played a preseason game last year, Leon Powe was sitting at his locker exhausted with ice on his knees (the ice part is fairly common, but he just looked worn out). Byron Scott had just worked the guys pretty hard at shootaround that morning and I asked him if that's why he looked so whipped.
"We had practice this morning. That wasn't no shootaround, that was practice," Powe said. "I ain't never practiced before a game. Never."
I thought of that today when Alonzo Gee was talking about his experience playing basketball in Poland during the lockout. Gee said they only played games twice a week, but that they practiced twice a day -- including game days. Yes, the team would hold a practice AFTER games.
"We practiced like crazy," Gee said.
Gee was happy to be playing and staying in shape, particularly at such a high level -- he played with the Euroleague's Asseco Prokom. But he doesn't sound like a guy real eager to go back anytime soon. It was cold, the food was lousy, he didn't know the language and therefore barely interacted with anyone.
"I'd go to the gym, play with my teammates and go home. That's it," Gee said. "It was a great situation for me to go play in the Euroleague. It's one of the best leagues outside the NBA. It was a great opportunity to go play over there. It was important for me to keep playing and staying in game shape."