The Phoenix Suns are taking their preparation for the 2017 NBA Draft very seriously. Former Kentucky star Malik Monk learned this the hard way.
The Suns brought in Monk for a pre-draft workout and put him through what they call the “three-minute run.” The drill is pretty self-explanatory: For three straight minutes the prospects have to run from one end of the court to the other—94 feet, to be exact—putting their hand down on the baseline and then sprinting back to the other end.
Here’s Monk’s run for the Suns, and, as you can see, it’s pretty draining:
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) June 6, 2017
It’s a grueling workout and something that general manager Ryan McDonagh brought over from his time working with the Boston Celtics.
“It tells you two things in particular,” McDonagh said to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “The first is what kind of physical condition these guys are in. This is serious. This opportunity usually only comes around once, especially in the draft. If you’re not prepared for this, I think that’s a red flag for us. If you are super-prepared, that’s obviously a good sign. And the second thing, maybe the most important thing, is just see how they fight when things aren’t going well or aren’t going their way.”
Danny Ainge, current president of basketball operations for the Celtics, told the Boston Globe in 2014 that he first encountered the drill when he was still an active NBA player for the Suns. He then used it once he became head coach in Phoenix, and then later when he started working in Boston’s front office. The team still uses the drill, and now the Suns have become known for it, too.
“First of all, it shows what kind of condition you’re in, which I think is important,’’ Ainge said back in 2014. “Second, it shows just how willing a person is to push themselves. Even if they don’t get a great conditioning number, you can tell when people are fighting through or when they’re giving in. Those are the most important elements of that.”
Monk did a pretty good job by putting up 25 reps of the drill, but current Suns player Devin Booker previously did 26, while the record is held by Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell and former BYU guard Tyler Haws, who both did 28 3⁄4 reps, according to ArizonaSports.com.
Wonder how many you could pull off? Try these basketball, running, and strength and conditioning programs from Men’s Fitness, and get yourself in gear: