Sixers’ Josh Richardson credits Heat’s ‘world-class conditioning’ for his development
Philadelphia 76ers wing Josh Richardson was sent to the City of Brotherly Love in the four-team sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler, who is now with the Miami Heat. However, the 26-year-old is throwing love back at the Heat ahead of the two Eastern Conference clubs’ Wednesday matchup in Philly.
What exactly did the Heat do specifically to get him ready for the NBA level? They just put him through a grueling conditioning test before training camp even begins to make sure he’s in shape to handle the season. That’s huge for any NBA player to get through a long 82 games plus the playoffs.
“They call it ‘world class conditioning’,” he added. “When you get to camp, they expect you at a certain bodyweight, a certain conditioning level, because from day one, you’re hitting the ground running. They have a conditioning test down there that’s not easy so it’s your first introduction to training camp, honestly, because it’s like a week before.”
The Heat have long been known for an exclusive culture of competitiveness and even training, with the organization under former head coach and now team president Pat Riley. They have been extremely focused on physical fitness to embark on 82-game seasons (not counting playoff series).
Richardson spent the first four seasons of his NBA career in Miami where he averaged 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 30.7 minutes per game. Despite never accumulating any accolades, Richardson — a former second-round pick out of Tennessee from the 2015 draft –was known as an up-and-coming wing player with competent defensive chops.
The Heat had to give up their young wing in the convoluted deal to sign Butler, who is currently trying to lead the Heat in the playoffs.