When you watch “Forrest Gump,” it takes just a few seconds to realize that Tom Hanks can do a bit of acting.
Observe President Obama give a speech, tune in to see Albert Pujos hit a baseball or listen to Jay-Z perform one of his songs, and your conclusion makes itself in a flash.
That’s about how long it takes to notice that Shannon Brown is some kind of a freakish athlete, and upon further consideration, literally one of the world’s best.
Surely if you observe the raw, explosive nature of Brown’s body movements going up and down the basketball floor, it’s easy to imagine an extensive weight lifting and training program that’s been followed for years and maximized in the NBA. After all, this is the guy you saw raise up to destroy a Mario West layup attempt in February and climb over the outstretched arms of Chris Andersen for a hammer dunk in the Western Conference Finals.
His 44.5-inch vertical – measured prior to his rookie season at the Lakers’ predraft camp – was in part of gift of genetics, but it would be assumed that Brown’s well-muscled arms didn’t just appear from nowhere. We assume he lifts some serious weights. Right?
In fact, late in the season, Brown explained to us that while he did do some lifting in high school and at Michigan State, he has basically stayed away from weight training since entering the NBA.
“Whatever Shannon accomplishes or doesn’t accomplish in the NBA is not going to be for lack of athleticism, and the risks involved with trying to be too clever with him would be ridiculous,” explained Lakers Director of Athletic Performance, Chip Schaefer. “We’re very open ended and we like to listen to the athletes, so when Shannon came … I had no problem with him sticking to (his program).”
Schaefer, who’s in charge of the team’s strength and conditioning, instead worked to supplement Brown’s routine with some fine tuning. Accordingly, to get a better understanding of why Brown sticks mostly to push ups and does little to nothing with his legs, we sat down with Schaefer for a podcast: