Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Pekovic worked on smaller muscles to get big, stay on the court

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 25, 2014 - 10:28 PM

“He doesn’t do this anymore because I think his body is changing,” Sato said, impersonating Vesely’s impersonation.

Now Pekovic himself impersonates a baby, a bear and a beauty queen in the weight room without hearing so much as a snicker from a teammate.

“I think he enjoys the baby ones better because then he gets to make the noises,” Love said. “He’s a big baby. A big teddy bear, too, though.”

Light on his feet

Sato calls Pekovic “one of the most nimble guys I’ve ever seen” after watching him progress through a program that shares a bit in common with yoga.

“No, I never done yoga,” Pekovic said. “Or 80 percent of the stuff we’re doing, I’ve never done in my life.”

So, might he have been a dancer?

“No, even my mom tried to take me to dance when I was like 14,” Pekovic said. “She was like, ‘We have to start,’ and I was like, ‘No, no, no.’ I’m kind of a little big for that. I don’t know how that would look.”

But his footwork on the beam is almost graceful, even if he and teammates such as rookie Gorgui Dieng drip sweat from seemingly the simplest of movements while Sato demonstrates the exercises seeking “reflexive stability” with nary a drop of perspiration.

“Their muscle is not working the way it’s supposed to,’ ’’said Sato, whom Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders hired after they worked together in Washington. “The little ones function very efficiently so you don’t feel fatigued. That’s why I can do this all day because I don’t have to use a big muscle to do it. If the only choice is to use big muscles … big muscles are strong but they fatigue quick.

“That’s why you see those guys sweating profusely. You’d be surprised: It looks like a simple exercise, but if you make sure they are in the right position, many of them struggle.”

Pekovic credits Sato’s work with keeping him healthy, which has kept him on the floor and allowed him to deliver in the past six weeks what coach Rick Adelman calls the most productive stretch of his four-year NBA career. He scored a career-high 34 points in a game last month, has nine 20-point and 10-rebound games and has led his team in scoring in five of the past 10 games.

“His consistency where he just keeps playing has been terrific,” Adelman said.

If Pekovic plays 60 games, he’ll start receiving a bonus that increases based on how many games he plays.

Pekovic gives his trainer the credit for his good health, but have they made a deal to give Sato his cut should Pekovic reach those bonuses?

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I don’t know about that,” he said, laughing. “We didn’t make that deal.”

 

  • related content

  • Video: Pekovic's special workouts focus on core

    Friday January 24, 2014

    Nikola Pekovic has an unusual workout regimen with Timberwolves Director of Sports Performance Koichi Sato.

  • Wolves' Love surprised by All-Star starting spot

    Friday January 24, 2014

    He joins the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and the Clippers’ Blake Griffin on the West team.

  • Martin ready for Warriors, Shved waiting for mask

    Friday January 24, 2014

    Wolves play three games in four nights starting Friday

  • Chart: Pekovic's injury history

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    pekovic’s injury historyNikola Pekovic has played in all 41 Wolves games this season after missing 56 games in his first...

  • Gameday preview: Wolves at Golden State

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    wolves gameday9:30 p.m. at golden state • oracle ARENA • fsn/NBA TV, 830-AMPreview: Kevin Martin practiced fully Thursday with that...

  • Nikola Pekovic loves the weight room but had to learn new techniques in an effort to avoid injuries. ‘‘I can really see my body is accepting it really good. I can see that it really helps my body. I’m more flexible. I’m moving better.’’

  • Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic worked under the direction of conditioning coach Koichi Sato at the Target Center.

  • wolves center nikola pekovic

    Up next: 9:30 tonight at Golden State • TV: FSN, NBA TV (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: Z. Greinke 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 4
San Diego - LP: J. Benoit 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: B. Logan 6
Toronto - LP: A. Loup 7 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Grilli 8
Miami - LP: S. Cishek 3 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 4
Washington - WP: D. Fister 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2
NY Yankees - WP: C. Whitley 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: V. Pestano 4
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 4
Chicago Cubs - LP: D. Beeler 1 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Guerra 4 FINAL
Boston - WP: K. Uehara 5
Kansas City - WP: A. Crow 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 8 FINAL
Texas - LP: Y. Darvish 4
Philadelphia - WP: R. Hernandez 4 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse 1
Pittsburgh - LP: B. Cumpton 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 5
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Oakland - LP: J. Hammel 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Cain 5
Winnipeg 7/11/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 7/11/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Washington 72 FINAL
Chicago 65
Seattle 58 FINAL
Phoenix 78
New York 66 FINAL
San Antonio 80
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close