The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Gunnar Peterson as director of strength and endurance training, according to a team press release.
The Lakers say Peterson “will design and implement a strength and conditioning program for the team with the goal of keeping the players performing at elite levels throughout the NBA season.” Peterson’s prior experience includes working with “some of the top entertainers and athletes in the world,” including athletes from the “NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, USTA, boxing and various NCAA sports.”
Peterson has 28 years of experience in the industry, is a graduate of Duke University and “a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist,” according to the team.
“From his time in college at Duke University until now, Gunnar has pursued excellence in training and fitness,” Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka said in the release. “Gunnar is a true pioneer and visionary at his craft, and will bring a new mentality to our weight room which we are all very excited about. Since Magic and I have worked with Gunnar in the past, we have a strong relationship with him, which makes working together now feel seamless.”
Multiple members of the Lakers training staff departed heading into the offseason, including former trainer Tim DiFrancesco, long-time Director of Player Development Rondre Jackson, Basketball Operations coordinator Tania Jolly and Assistant Strength Coach Sean Light.
Peterson appears to be the first replacement for those that have departed the organization.
We don’t have word on Peterson’s thoughts on Julius Randle’s insanely gritty workouts, but stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for more updates as the Lakers continue their efforts to build up their training staff.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.