Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 4:31 pm  |  14 responses

Links: Talking With…The Hoops Whisperer

“You just need the rim, the court and your desire.”

by Lang Whitaker

One part of my gig here at SLAM that goes wildly under-reported is how much time I spend talking to people. Not for The Links, maybe not even necessarily for anything you’ll ever read. But still. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I always compare my job to being the guy in the circus who spins the plates. At any given time, I’ve got about ten plates spinning, and I’ve got to keep them all spinning, and if I forget about one plate, even momentarily, there’s a good chance it could fall to the floor and shatter into a million little pieces. So I stay working the email and the texting and phones.

(Actually, I just got a random phone call with a story idea that was, quite literally, unbelievable. So unbelievable that I think I have to do it. Gotta keep it under wraps for now, but I’m sure you’re going read much more about that this fall.)

I tried to get that SLAM Podcast series going back in the spring, but it took way more time than I had available to plan everything and chase guys down. But I really liked the immediacy of the concept — just taking audio and tossing it up on the site is much easier than writing a 1,500 word essay about the relevancy of Allen Iverson. So I’m hoping I can make what I’m about to run a semi-regular series. Shorter than a podcast, but hopefully just as interesting.

Earlier today, I was Talking With…Idan Ravin. The casual NBA fan might not know who he is, but guys like LeBron, Melo, Chris Paul…they know him all too well. Idan is basically a personal basketball trainer, and he’s known around NBA circles as The Hoops Whisperer. Idan spends his summers bouncing around the world, helping the best basketball players in the world get even better.

idancp3I caught up with Idan today while he’s down in Winston-Salem, NC, working with Chris Paul and Morris Peterson (the photo on the right is actually from yesterday’s workout). We talked about how Idan got into the business, how he keeps his client roster of NBA All-Stars in tip-top shape, and what kind of advice he’d give the basketball player who is still looking to improve their game…

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  • http://www.twitter.com/from_the_chi Bryan Crawford

    Very cool Lang… a nice respite from reading.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    From the pic, CP3 is looking kind of ripped. Musclewatch is on!

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens Borges

    Ok, this is how I’m training my son…. hahahaha

  • blackjack

    Nobody likes podcasts

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    ”To make ends meet, Mr. Ravin operates a group of ethnic dating sites from his laptop — including Ethiopian Personals and Eligible Greeks. His only bit of flash is a weakness for Louis Vuitton loafers and designer jeans.” What?!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    is z makin stuff up?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Z took that word for word from the wsj.com link, “The Hoops Whisperer,” but that’s no different than Kobe/LeBron/Wade with their Louie V man purses and designer jeans. And seeing how he gets paid:
    “He works on a sliding scale, asking his clients to pay what they think is fair. Some players say they might pay $1,000 to $2,000 to keep him on retainer for a week, though Mr. Ravin says occasionally he gets paid in meals or shoes.”
    What does it really matter what the sites are if there’s enough traffic fueling a livable salary. Not everyone like it said, can be Tim Grover with the $15 million facility – and Michael Jordan’s trainer on his resume.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    That advice of all you need is a court is totally true. Because that is all you need and a ball and then if you want to improve your strength and athletic ability just hit the weights and tons of stuff you can do I hate how people made all these stupid money making programs and lure kids into them and so many people just waste money. This guys a smart dude and he gives good advice.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Do basketball players ever have vacations where they just do nothing or do they ALWAYS train?

  • LeoneL

    I play basketball on vacations. So maybe these ballers have vacations all the time. LOL

  • http://slamonline.com The underrated one

    Everybody who wants to become a better baller should listen to Idan Ravin sound advice

  • http://www.dynastyhoops.com Isaac kwapong

    Nice one Lang… will be following slam…..

  • dcballa

    damn!cp3 really put on some muscles!!

  • hillbilly

    Dude looks like a skinnier version of Dave Attell…The Joke Whisperer.

    Dave: “Hey, CP3…you know what the difference is between beer nuts & deer nuts?

    Chris: “No, Dave…what’s the difference?”

    Dave: “A can of beer nuts will set you back about $3.29. Deer nuts are under a buck.”