Rico Hines brings infectious energy to Raptors

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Victoria – Rico Hines can’t remember the last time he took a break. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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The new Toronto Raptors assistant coach, who is famous in basketball circles for running off-season scrimmages in Los Angeles, says he lives and breathes his job.

“When I said 24/7, I mean 365,” Hines said. “It never stops… It’s always the whole summer. It’s who I am and I believe in it and I’m so grateful and grateful for that.”

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While Hines worked for the Sacramento Kings for the past three years, the development coach had a strong relationship with the Raptors through his summer run, most notably with Pascal Siakam, who since his pre-draft year in 2016. Hines, and says Hines is “like family.”

In addition to participating in Hines’ pickup runs, Siakam trains with Hines during the summer. Shortly after Siakam’s 2018-19 breakout season, in which he helped lead Toronto to their first title and was named the NBA’s best player, Hines’ YouTube channel posted Siakam during the 2018 holiday. shared a mixtape of the work done by. -weather.

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Players are praising Hines for his positive energy during the three-day training camp.

“Obviously he’s someone that I’m really close to and have that voice and he’s always someone you love no matter what his voice, his presence,” Siakam said. “And apparently he knows the game. He’s been around great players over the years and I think with just a young group, he just brings that swag, that energy that we all need.

“So, having them every single day is, yeah, a blessing to be honest, like it feels like summer every day. So that’s cool.”

Hines, of Greenville, NC, played at UCLA with fellow Raptors assistant Earl Watson. His first major coaching stint was with the Golden State Warriors in 2006.

“He is just as good in the business as in player development, isn’t he? That’s a big statement,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. “Guys trust him. He can command an entire gym, not just with one player, but sometimes with 60. And he has a deep, deep passion for the game. He’s in the gym all day. He loves coaching and loves making people better.

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He has grown into a kind of basketball guru, with his off-season runs attracting some of the biggest names in the league to play at UCLA. His YouTube page has over 70,000 subscribers.

Siakam won the NBA Best Player award in 2019 after helping the Raptors capture their first championship, and soon after, Hines posted a mixtape of Siakam’s grueling workouts last off-season on his YouTube channel .

“It’s a great asset, a great connection,” said Raptors guard Fred VanVallet. “He was already extended family – he and Pascal have a great relationship. But now for him to actually wear a Raptor shirt, I think it’s the next step toward adding real talent to our development program and The one you already knew, which is seen as one of the best in the league.”

On nights he wasn’t at his best, Siakam credits Hines for reminding him to see the big picture and have faith in the hard work he put in.

After practice at the University of Victoria, Siakam said, “She’s like ‘You deserve to miss the shot because you’ve worked… you work out more than anyone, so you’ve got to play a great game for a while’. are not worth it.” “It’s okay because you worked, and that’s my mindset.”

What Makes a Player Coach Qualified? Hines said he appreciates working with someone who wants to improve.

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“There is purity in a player who wants to be great, who wants to be the best person and the best player,” he said. “I told (a Raptors player) today, ‘You prayed your whole life for a place in the NBA, you’re here now, so why should (you) be upset or mad at anything, (you) Just work as hard as (you) possibly can and let the chips fall where they can.”

“So, I think it’s just the conversations you have with people and they will feel your sanity and your passion for them.”

What can take a player out of Hines’ summer run? Finally refusing to run for two minutes, he said. And the only way out of the race is to be either a 15-year NBA veteran or a five- or six-time All-Star.

“Plus you have to run at the end. I don’t care who you are, you have to run for two minutes,” Hines said. “It was a rule that came from Magic Johnson long before me. You have to push yourself and run for two minutes. And all they do, full court.

“They love it dude and the little guys help the big guys because they try to push them and vice versa. You know what I mean? So if it’s a vet out there who’s been there for a while playing and he finds a young college guy around him, then I’ll tell them to pair up with each other and run and then have a conversation. That’s how this thing man, keeps building conversations. It’s a great The vibe is there and it’s a great tradition and it’s a great place.”

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Tip-ins: Khem Birch revealed on Thursday that the knee injury that plagued him last season turned out to be a torn meniscus. This came to light when he underwent off-season surgery.

“The fifth, sixth game of the season, I remember my knee went into the balloon and I hurt my bone. I didn’t know what it was,” Birch said. “I thought it was a bone bruise and I thought it was going to go away. Then I broke my nose and all the swelling subsided (and) I realized there was something wrong with the lateral part of my knee, and I was going to address it in the off-season.

Birch said he did five or six MRIs, and none of them found an injury.

“I decided to just play on it and fix it in the off-season.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 29, 2022.

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Source: globalnews.ca

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