Raptors Star Danny Green Talks NBA-Level Training, Working With Puma, and Why Core Strength Is Important for Basketball Players

Danny Green
 Getty Images


NBA guard Danny Green is thriving with the Toronto Raptors. After spending the previous eight seasons with the San Antonio Spurs and establishing himself as one of the top 3-point shooters in the league while winning the 2014 NBA championship, Green was traded to the Raptors alongside All-Star Kawhi Leonard.

While the trade was a major change for Green, the guard has been playing as well as he ever has on the court. Through 25 games since going North of the border, Green is putting up career-high numbers in numerous categories, including field goal percentage, 3-point shooting percentage, offensive rebounds, and 3-pointers made per game.

Green’s play—along with Leonard’s strong play—has the Raptors off to a franchise best start and thinking about making a run to the NBA Finals. Green’s been relishing his time with the Raptors, and has been enjoying his experience with the fans in the city.

Danny Green
Getty Images

“It definitely helps to adjust easier when you’re winning,” Green says. “The organization of people, teammates they’ve done a great job helping me feel at home, myself and Kawhi, it’s been great. City has been amazing, always loved this city even before I became a Raptor. Fans have been awesome embracing me, and making me feel like I’ve been there for years. Winning makes it comfortable, but it’s been great so far.”

Green has also started working with PUMA, partnering with the brand earlier this season on a multi-year deal. The company announced the deal with a pretty awesome video featuring Green and, yes, some actual pumas.

Green is excited to get to work and is looking forward to the collaboration and partnership going forward: “It’s been amazing, I’ve had a great time getting started with Puma, they’ve done a great job of giving me everything I need,” Green says. “They’re very stylish and new. The shoes are very comfortable and they’ve been great for me. They help a lot with everything I’m doing on and off the court. I’m excited to partner with them and working with them for years to come.”

Green spoke with Men’s Journal about his training routine, how he prepares for the NBA season, his excitement about working with PUMA, and what it’s like playing in Toronto.

What’s your workout routine like in the offseason?

In the summer we do a lot more heavy loads and workouts. I’ll do two-a-day training sessions, lifting and on the court work, for more hours than I usually will during the season. When the season is going on, it’s not as much heavy stuff, it’s more correctives and stuff to maintain strength and make sure no injuries happen. Preseason is about conditioning and getting into basketball shape, because there’s no real way to prepare for that except for playing. During the year it’s taking care of your body, treatment, shooting, a lot of corrective work and activation of your muscles, and making sure you’re staying on top of your health and staying on top of your body.

What are some of your favorite moves to use in your training?

I enjoy lifting, whether it’s squats, benching, all that stuff. The feeling of being sore isn’t the greatest thing, but it makes you feel the way you’re supposed to be. And once you get used to it and take care of that soreness, you get into a good flow of training. This summer I did a lot of stuff with the CoreX, Alex McKechnie [The Raptors’ Director of Sports Science] invented it, and it did a great job for me helping my core.

What types of workouts do you enjoy doing most?

I like doing game situation-type workouts and game simulated workouts, where you’re not just running in place on a treadmill, but you’re out there on the court or in the gym, going through the same moves you’d do on the court. Coming off screens, running around cones and changing directions, moves to the basket. I try and get a lot of repetition on those moves, it’s the better route to getting in shape than running on a track or running on treadmill because you’re putting your body through the same movements you’ll be doing on the court during the season. You have an end result in mind. I’ll do a lot of shooting on the move, running and shooting, because that’s a big part of my game. It puts you in situations that are game-like.

You’ve joined up with PUMA. What’s the partnership been like so far?

It’s great to be part of the team. I’m excited about working with Puma. They have a great group of people at Puma, and the guys with them on their roster from the league are great as well. I’m excited to be part of that and excited to see the new shoes and gear they put together as we move forward. It’s been great to start, and I’m ready for even more moving forward.

If you could use only one type of workout to train for basketball what would it be?

For me, I’m a shooter. The game has changed so much, and everyone needs to be able to shoot beyond the perimeter, even the bigger guys who play power forward or center. Working on your ball handling is important, but I think those game-situation drills, perfecting your shot, your form, and your touch with the ball are really important for players. You don’t have to be the tallest guy, if you can shoot it well, you can get very far in the game of basketball.

What’s your recovery routine like?

After games I definitely have to ice, I do a foot bath for my calves, Achilles, and feet, and an ice bath or an ice tub. I do some stretching, I have a NormaTec I use as well. That helps me recover. I’ll get some treatment and massage to help my body and muscles recover. It takes me a couple hours, if you’re taking things seriously with your body and recovery, you have to stay on top of it and put in the time. It should take you at least an hour or two hours if you’re putting the right focus on it.

What other workouts have you used in your training?

During my time in San Antonio we did some boxing workouts, we did some yoga, pool workouts, we did pilates as well. I think all those things are great. Especially in the summertime and preseason I’ll do a lot of that. During the year I don’t do that as much, but I’ll try and do some yoga. Yoga and Pilates translate to the court to me by keeping my body loose, and they both help with injury prevention. That’s key for us, you need to feel right game in and game out, and the only way to do that is to do your recovery and keep yourself loose. It also helps make me feel stable.

What are some of the things you enjoy doing most off the court?

I love watching movies and TV series, I watch all types of genres. I’m trying to branch out and learn off the court and learn what I want to do when my career is over. Broadcasting is something I’m interested in. I love to hang with the dog, chill with the family too. I watch a lot of different sports, different games, a little bit of everything. I like bowling, and enjoying the sites of the city wherever I’m at, whether it’s a new restaurant or something new to do.