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Jason Collins is ready when his name is called this season.WALTHAM, Mass. -- Jason Collins knows he'll be utilized most as a situational player for the Celtics this season, mainly when the Andrew Bynums and Dwight Howards of the NBA are in the opponent's lineup.
But other factors -- injuries, primarily -- could rewrite the script at any point during the season, and even though he can't predict which situations he'll be needed for, Collins made sure this past summer that he'd be physically ready for any of them.
Collins is coming off of one of his most grueling offseasons ever, which saw him adopt an intense workout regimen that helped him cut his weight, slim down, and significantly improve his conditioning.
"Just a lot of training," Collins said of what his offseason consisted of. "It was something different every day, but I really did a lot of CrossFit type stuff. So, I did a lot of CrossFit exercises, and a lot of cardio, a lot of running on the treadmill. And then, also, random stuff like yoga. I did just about everything as far as conditioning and strength training-wise to really get in the best possible shape I could."
Collins' typical playing weight used to be between 255 and 260 pounds, but he managed to get as low as 235 during the summer. At that point he was too light, though, and he got himself back up to 245. The most encouraging part of the regimen was that Collins was able to shed weight without sacrificing the strength he needs to be a stable post defender against some of the NBA's juggernauts.
"I'm strong as ever," Collins said. "That wasn't so much an issue, just as, for me to be most effective, I need to be around 245. At least."
"When you have a twin brother, it's a natural sibling rivalry type thing, and he sort of got into boot camps and stuff like this, and we live about 5-10 minutes apart in Los Angeles, so it's a natural thing. Like I see my brother getting into it and then I've got to beat him," Collins explained.
The process worked so well over the summer that Collins has carried similar tactics into the season. He works with the Celtics' training staff to go through similar exercise routines, blending some of his offseason drills with workouts the Boston staff already has in place. On top of that, he's altered his pregame routine as well. While some players rely on basic stretching and jogging to loosen up before a game or before the second half of a game, Collins opts for a series of detailed abdominal exercises to warm up his entire body.
"For me it always starts with the core," Collins said. "I've learned that the stronger that your core is, the better you are. And it's a great way just to warm up your whole body, especially as I get older in my career. I do a lot of core stuff, a lot of different core exercises. I have about 30 to 40 different things I can do. I just mix it up."
Winning also served as a motivating factor for Collins. Knowing a championship was a very real possibility, he wasn't about to cheat himself, or his new club.
"I knew that this was my best opportunity to win a championship, and I did everything in my control to put myself in the best possible shape to help the team."