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Joakim Noah trained with big wave surfer in off-season

Dec 10, 2012, 12:37 PM EDT

Joakim Noah AP

The trendy off-season workout for NBA players is MMA — it’s a hard workout, it teaches balance and core strength, plus it’s just cool.

That’s not what Joakim Noah did last summer.

He was in Southern California working out with famed big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. And no, working out with him doesn’t mean jumping on some 50-foot wave (which I’m pretty sure violates Noah’s contract in like 12 places). Rather he was doing pool workouts that sound pretty extreme. From the Daily Herald (hat tip to SLAM).

“I would say I learned just as much about recovery from him as anybody,” Noah said after playing 44 minutes and the entire second half against the Knicks. “The way he trains for what he does is unbelievable. I consider him like a mentor….

“He surfs 60-, 70-foot giants,” Noah said. “You fall, you could die. Talk about mental toughness. When you have a 60-foot monster, you can be under (water) for two or three minutes, so you have to train for that.

“He’ll use weights and do like jumps underwater. He can do like 10 jumps. I can do like three. It’s unbelievable, just for your lung capacity and stuff like that. It really helped me doing these pool workouts.”

Noah is having a career year — 13.7 points and 10.8 rebounds a game, he’s the defensive anchor still and taking on more of the Bulls offense with Derrick Rose out. He has a PER of 18.5. The Bulls are atop the Central Division without their MVP and Noah’s play at both ends is a key reason.

So apparently this works.

Is it really hard to picture Noah hanging out on the beach, talking workouts with surfers? Then finding a way to make it work for him.

  1. blueintown - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    His offseason work with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have some correlation to his improved performance this season, as well. Just a hunch.

    • mogogo1 - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      Anybody with access to Laird Hamilton would want to work out with him because who wouldn’t want to hang out with Laird Hamilton? And then afterwards you’d tell everybody it was great because you want to keep hanging out with Laird Hamilton. But tying “he surfs 70 foot waves; you fall and you could die” to playing in the NBA is a bit of a stretch and the benefits are all intangible.

      But being tutored by the all-time leading scorer/legendary center? Very tangible.

  2. cantonbound13 - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Was him mom really a model? He got screwed.

  3. gmsingh - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    You’d think that someone who’s worked with Laird Hamilton wouldn’t look like he’s perpetually off balance when he’s driving the lane.

  4. jimeejohnson - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Noah’s nemesis is none other than KG of the Celtics. If you want to see two guys battle big time, check out a Bulls-Celtics game. Of course, KG’s not the player he once was. I’m starting to appreciate Noah more, and it will be interesting when duh Bulls get Derrick Rose back.

  5. sguy2130 - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    In other news, surfer Laird Hamilton was seen training with a primitive cave man by several of his peers.

    • gmsingh - Dec 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      As opposed to the really advanced cave men?

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