Chris Webber was widely regarded around the league as toast when he was cut loose by the Sixers -- most people figured his knee balky wheels would pose such a problem that he'd be a liability on both sides of the court. Instead, he's been anything but, and as I wrote last week, Arnie Kander is largely the reason why.
Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press has a in-depth profile on Kander today, describing the unusual lengths he goes to in order to preserve the health of the Pistons. Everyone knows that staying hydrated is one of the keys to staying healthy, right? Leave it to Kander to take drinking water to the next level:
He and assistant Dave Boyer balance the pH levels of each player's water using alkaline drops. On the road, they forgo tap water and buy bulk supplies of their favored bottled water at grocery stores, then they pH balance it at the hotel before the game.
Sometimes, Kander even uses a machine to change the angles of the bonds in the water molecules.
"Ask anyone who has drank the right water," he said, "the right bond angle, the right temperature, the right alkalinity, and they'll say they can't go back."
Of course, you don't need a degree in chemistry to understand all of Kander's methods:
On Monday, Kander had two hours to bring guard Flip Murray's 103-degree temperature down. So he draped his head and torso in cold, alcohol-soaked towels, which cool the body and pull out the fever as they dry.
"A lot of what you do goes back to what people did 50 or 60 years ago," Kander said. "We've got more high-tech in medicine but have forgotten about the basic foundation of the body. It's hot -- cool it off."
And to think, what started him down this path was a foray into ballet and modern dance. If you're a fan of what goes on behind the scenes as much as what happens in the 48 minutes on the court, read the whole thing.