Compared to playing in Greece, where I played a year ago, the travel schedule is hectic in the NBA. There are a ton more games in the NBA and the length of the season is much longer.
It’s been hard re-adjusting to this schedule. There have been times where my body just broke down this year, but that’s part of the business. You have to fight through that and remain consistent and effective.
However, in the NBA, the actual travel is a lot more comfortable. I think that is primarily due to the fact that we travel so much more.
In Europe, we stayed at some nice hotels, but it’s a different culture over there. Obviously, things in Europe are a lot smaller, whereas we have a lot more space over here.
One major difference is that in Greece, I knew that I was home one week and that I was gone the next week. You kind of develop a rhythm.
With the Suns, our schedule fluctuates all the time. In the NBA, you basically just have to keep a bag packed. For example, I buy two of everything as far as toiletries are concerned and I literally keep a toiletry bag packed because it makes things that much easier.
Here’s what a typical travel day is like for me (this was the itinerary from a recent trip to Sacramento):
8:30 a.m. – Arrive at the arena, get taped, receive treatment
9:00 a.m. – Lift weights, go through work out with strength coach
10:00 a.m. – Practice
11:45 a.m. – Post-practice media, shower, get ready for trip
12:30 p.m. – Bus to the airport
1:00 p.m. – Lunch on the plane
2:00 p.m. – Watch movies, read or nap on the plane
4:00 p.m. – Arrive in Sacramento and take bus to hotel
4:30 p.m. – Relax in room
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
8:00 p.m. – Check out a movie. In Sacramento, it was “Sucker Punch.” (It was o.k. I can’t say I was a huge fan of it)
11:00 p.m. – Back in hotel room relaxing, playing video games
Here’s the next day:
8:30 a.m. – Wake up to work out at hotel’s gym with five other players and members of the training staff
9:30 a.m. – Bus to arena for practice
10:00 a.m. – Shootaround
11:00 a.m. – Talk with media about game at night
11:30 a.m. – Bus returns to hotel
12:00 p.m. – Lunch
1:00 p.m. – Nap
3:30 p.m. – Pregame meal
4:30 p.m. – Bus to arena for game
5:00 p.m. – Get taped, receive treatment
5:30 p.m. – Pregame shootaround and lift. We do about a 30-45 minute lift on game days. Someone like Grant does light weights because he’s playing 30-plus minutes a night. Garret, Zabian and myself get a little bit of a heavier lift in because we play less minutes than him.
6:15 p.m. – Locker room closes and team goes over game plan
7:00 p.m. Game
10:00 p.m. – Talk to media postgame
10:30 p.m. – Bus leaves for airport
1:00 a.m. – Arrive back in Phoenix
1:30 a.m. – Get home and go to sleep
Diet and Rest
I’ve heard that Steve keeps a sleep journal, but I don’t think I’d be able to do that. That’s meticulous!
It’s probably a great idea, though. That way you know why you feel tired or why you don’t. You could figure out some things and take out some variables.
But I will tell you, one thing I always do is take a nap on game days. I couldn’t imagine not doing that. It’s vital!
As far as my diet is concerned, I’m pretty consistent with eating pretty healthy. I make sure I get a ton of fruits and vegetables.
On the days I don’t have a game or practice (my off-, off-days) that’s when I eat whatever I want.
Generally, when we’re on the road we go to the movies or to dinner. Sometimes I’ll head to the mall to just so I can walk around and just get out of the hotel.
On longer trips, I take my XBox and I will battle it out with Channing. Our rooms are side-by-side and we’ll play against each other. Right now, we’re playing Marvel vs. Capcom against each other.
The places I look forward to traveling to the most are L.A. and Atlanta because I have family in both of those cities. The other city I look forward to spending time in is Toronto.
Sometimes we’ll try to take advantage of being in a city where we can do something cultural. On the last trip to Washington D.C., we went to the Holocaust Museum.
One of the beauties of Twitter is that when we’re in a new city, people give you suggestions of restaurants to go to or things to go see. Otherwise, you will normally find me at the mall or the movies.
On the road, I just try to maintain as much of a normal life as possible.