Idan Ravin Rumors

Working behind the scenes, trainer Idan Ravin has been an integral part of the lives of three key Knicks. He also is the unlikeliest of basketball gurus — son of Israeli parents. Hebrew is his first language despite a suburban Maryland upbringing. Ravin, who has a law degree, worked reluctantly as an attorney before ditching that career to train NBA players. His offbeat basketball resume — coming out of a Jewish high school league in Maryland and being the last walk-on cut by the University of Maryland — led him to write a book released three weeks ago, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players.’’
He adjusts each workout to the player’s mood: “I don’t have a manual to give you. It’s day-to-day. It’s a conversation. It’s a message. It’s a text message. It’s a voice of encouragement, a pat on the back. It’s not like I’m giving them a pill.” Consider Ravin’s willingness to overlook J.R. Smith’s persistent lateness. “I believe in him so much, what I felt for him was more frustration [than anger],” he comments. “I wanted [success] so much for him. He’s an amazing human. I will never abandon him. I’ll be there for him. He’s a work in progress, like we all are.”
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This offseason, Anthony has been in Los Angeles working out with his longtime trainer, Idan Ravin, performing basketball, beach and weight workouts. Melo called it a “great summer” as he prepares for the season. “[Idan and I] are always trying to figure out what’s that next move or how we’re going to push this year. And I think we did a great job of just coming up with something and just running with it,” Melo said. “Just certain dieting things, just taking chances with different styles of training — not just doing stuff on the basketball court or in the weight room. I’m trying to just push the limit.”
There is no blueprint for Ravin’s sessions. He says he decides when he meets with a player whether the player is in the mood to work out intensely or whether it should be a shorter session. Some workouts are group sessions with several basketball players, and others are just him and a single player. Ravin’s approach is to always stay cool and never raise his voice. Each of Ravin’s drills — like one aimed at improving peripheral vision, in which he stands to a dribbling player’s side and holds up numbers for him to call out — are designed to make the difficult routine. Ravin compared the drills to a student trying to take an SAT in half an hour.
Around the N.B.A., the 39-year-old Ravin is called the Hoops Whisperer because of his ability to connect with players — many of whom are stars — with methods that are a little different. These days, two of his prominent clients are Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Together, as Knicks teammates, they are engaged in an uphill battle against Boston in the first round of the N.B.A. playoffs — Stoudemire, who had back trouble in Game 2, is hoping to play on Friday — and they can only hope that whatever Ravin has done will help. N.B.A. players often employ personal trainers to enhance aspects of their game and maintain others. The top trainers are spread out geographically. Tim Grover, who came to prominence for his work with Michael Jordan, is based in Chicago. Rob McClanaghan spends summers in Los Angeles working with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and others.