Somewhat lost in all the hype about which players Lonzo Ball is going to help in his rookie year with the Los Angeles Lakers has been Larry Nance, Jr. There has been plenty of talk of the effects Ball’s infectious passing might have on players like Brandon Ingram
, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle’s development, but seemingly forgotten about in all that has been how perfect Nance might be as a running mate for Ball in transition, flushing endless lobs and outlet passes or coming out of nowhere to posterize someone so hard he gives Brook Lopez flashbacks.
In order to make sure that happens, Nance has been working his ass off on the beach this summer. Or at least working his abs off.
“Heading into my third season, my biggest goal is getting to training camp in the best shape of my life,” Nance wrote in a blog for BiPro USA about his offseason beach workouts. “I’ve got a six-pack coming along and have been joined at the hip to our strength and conditioning coach to get my body fat percentage as low as possible.”
Nance never really appeared to be out of shape over the last several years, but there’s a difference between being in good enough shape in general, being in good enough shape to play NBA basketball and being in good enough shape to play extended minutes in the go-go style Ball will likely lead the Lakers to play. Nance is trying to make sure he’s ready for that third one.
“I pride myself a lot on my athleticism. My speed and leaping ability allow me to be active on defense and get to the rim on offense,” Nance wrote. “It’s also important for me to be able to run the court, this year more than ever. We’re going to be playing an up-tempo brand of basketball and fast breaks are where I’m going to make my name, getting out in transition and throwing down some dunks. Speed work in the sand is helping me get faster so I can grab a rebound, pass it up to a guard, run out on the wing, then get the ball back and score inside.”
If working out on the beach allows Nance to do all of those things better, then these beach sessions will have paid off in a major way. For Nance’s full thoughts on why beach workouts are so helpful for him and pro basketball players in general, you can read his whole blog here. If you just want to watch him run in the sand while he talks about it, you can watch this video below:
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our thoughts on the fantasy value of Nance and the rest of the team below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.