At least the Orlando Magic have one of the best facility within the NBA! | Commentary


The college football arms race has formally come to the NBA.

And on Wednesday, the Orlando Magic dropped the bomb.

More particularly, they drew again the curtain and unveiled their plush, palatial, new $75 million 130,000-square foot AdventHealth Training Center that comes with each bell and whistle — to not point out two full-length apply flooring, two extra extra capturing flooring, an infrared sauna and steam room, an altitude chamber, zero-gravity reclining chairs, a full-body cryotherapy chamber, nap rooms, an outside lap pool with an underwater treadmill, a smoothie bar, a barber store, a mini golf course and a float pod.

A float pod?

Yes, a float pod, which is described as, “A sensory deprivation pod that helps relax the body and mind simultaneously. Full of water and a high dose of Epsom salt, the floating pod is a multifaceted tool to decrease anxiety and relieve muscle pain. It provides the feeling of weightlessness and shuts out all sights and sounds.”

I’m telling you, in in the present day’s world of obnoxious, clanging-cymbal politicians, divisive cable news personalities and Stephen A. Smith, we may all use our personal private float pod.

“The float pod is one of my favorite things to do,” Magic heart Wendell Carter says. “It’s dark and it’s quiet and you’re just laying in there floating on water. To have that at our disposal right there in our locker room is elite.”

If solely buildings may win video games, the Magic would simply go from worst to first within the NBA this season. But, after all, high-flying gamers win championships, not free-standing edifices. Even so, buildings, sources, amenities and dedication can hopefully assist develop gamers into stars by placing them in an setting the place they attempt for excellence and work more durable to turn out to be nice.

It’s the identical cause mega-companies resembling Google pamper their workers with lavish meals, therapeutic massage rooms, health facilities and different assorted perks. The philosophy is easy: If Google engineers love coming to the workplace, they’re going to need to keep on the workplace, which implies they’re writing and debugging extra codes and creating extra algorithms. The identical could possibly be mentioned for the Magic’s new facility.

“We want to create an atmosphere where our people are energized and invigorated about coming to work with their colleagues,” Magic CEO Alex Martins says.

If you have been a Magic participant, why wouldn’t you need to come to work on this constructing? Hell, if I have been a Magic participant, I’d by no means need to depart work on this constructing. There’s completely each technologically superior equipment you possibly can ever dream of to assist enhance your expertise, improve your power, calm down your thoughts, construct your physique and rehab your damage. The proven fact that the Magic’s longtime healthcare companion, AdventHealth, is underneath the identical roof means Magic gamers have on the spot entry to a number of the greatest orthopedic docs, surgeons and imaging gear on the planet.

Not solely that, there’s an expansive kitchen, eating room and “family” lounge space the place cooks will cook dinner breakfast for the gamers, coaches and workers once they arrive on the facility and put together lunch for when they’re performed with apply. Then, maybe, the gamers will retire to their particular person nap rooms for somewhat post-lunch siesta. Then possibly they’ll work out within the weight room, take a steam tub and get a therapeutic massage or a haircut earlier than heading residence,

“I was amazed when I first saw it,” Carter says. “I’ve been to most every facility in the NBA, and I’ve never seen anything like this. This shows the backing we have from the DeVos family and AdventHealth. They have given us everything we need to be great, but at the end of the day, we have come do the work to become great.”

The thought for the coaching facility was hatched 4½ years in the past when Jeff Weltman, the Magic’s president of basketball operations, got here to Martins’ workplace and broached the subject. From there, Weltman and Martins toured 15 or so of the highest coaching amenities throughout the NBA and the NFL. They took intensive notes, created an idea combining one of the best qualities of all of the amenities they visited after which got here up with some distinctive concepts.

The constructing is a block away from Amway Center and, based on metropolis commissioner Regina Hill, will additional improve the continued revitalization of the Parramore group. Kudos also needs to go to the Magic for awarding $17 million (32 p.c) of the design and building contracts to native companies owned by minorities and girls.

With that mentioned, let’s get again to the $75 million, 130,000-square foot elephant-in-the-room query that Magic followers most care about: Can one of the best constructing within the NBA assist one of many worst groups within the NBA truly win video games?

The reply: Not instantly, however maybe finally.

College soccer coaches and athletic administrators usually inform us that the arms race of their sport is important as a result of luxuriant amenities assist entice prime recruits. In in the present day’s NBA, couldn’t an argument be made that a company’s plush digs could possibly be a deciding consider luring a prime free agent?

“There’s no doubt,” Martins says. “Players care about three things: Obviously, they want to be paid fairly. They want to play for teams that are competing for championships. And they want to know that they are competing and preparing in one of the best facilities in the league. I can honestly say — having seen them all — this is the best facility in the NBA today.”

It simply goes to point out how far athletic efficiency and coaching amenities have come for the reason that Magic’s first season in 1989. Magic legendary broadcaster David Steele instructed the story Friday of the group’s unique apply facility on the outdated downtown Orlando Recreation Center, the place Magic gamers shared a single basketball courtroom with most people. During apply, gamers saved their private belongings in outdated steel lockers however needed to filter out the locker room after apply so the town’s firefighters and law enforcement officials may use it to prepare for his or her rec-league video games.

Probably due to the stress of their on a regular basis jobs, it’s been mentioned that these rec-league video games of yesteryear between the hearth division and police division would usually get fairly contentious.

Too unhealthy they didn’t have float pods, infrared saunas and zero-gravity recliners again then.

Email me at [email protected]. Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and take heed to my Open Mike radio present each weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and HD 101.1-2

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