San Antonio Spurs wing Lonnie Walker IV linked up with Jrue Holiday for a two-week training regimen during this 2020 offseason.
Most of the time, NBA players from various teams cross paths during the offseason. Whether it be due to tax breaks in certain cities, backgrounds, mutual trainers, or friendships, the NBA world is closer together than you might think. The most recent case study of this as it pertains to the San Antonio Spurs came as Lonnie Walker IV spent two weeks training with New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday.
Perennially one of the most underrated players in the game, Holiday is a former All-Star whose All-Defensive impact and transformative leadership role fly under the radar. This is a player who wears his heart on his sleeve, putting his team first and doing everything in his power to shut an opponent down. His smothering perimeter defense, lightening-fast reflexes and authority over the game as a floor general makes him one of the league’s best-kept secrets.
This is part of why it was particularly intriguing to see Walker hanging around Holiday, via his Instagram page.
Walker joined Holiday in working with performance coach Mike G, who has worked with Jrue’s brother Aaron and former Spurs guard Ray McCallum recently. In the video he posted, Walker’s seen working on athletic performance in a variety of settings and terrain. Between simulated beach volleyball, what looks like a football field, pools and standard gyms, Walker was put to the test and expressed so in his Instagram caption.
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Heading into his third year, Walker should have a great chance to prove himself in the near future. Whether his veteran teammates stick around or not, the Spurs’ coaching staff has let Walker loose to some extent, affording him extra opportunities to work through mistakes and get comfortable. To see him putting this much focus and dedication into what’s supposed to be his time off bodes well for Walker’s hopes of being a future All-Star.
Having a mentor like Holiday should go a long way for Lonnie. Holiday’s been in a ton of game situations and has been around the league long enough to tell it like it is. He’s been known to be exceptionally wise beyond his years, which falls in line perfectly with Jrue’s reputation as a thoughtful and intuitive NBA vet.
For as fun as it would be to act like this is a sign that Holiday will be dealt to the Spurs, there’s absolutely no correlation between team workings and who the players choose to hang out and work with during the offseason. Personally, I’ve said Holiday is a great fit for San Antonio Spurs culture and should be a trade target, but the fact that he has a relationship with Walker doesn’t necessarily change the likelihood of a trade. If Holiday did land in San Antonio, via trade or free-agent signing, it’d be nice to see what kind of rapport he shares with Walker in-game.
Regardless, these two incredible players seem to be working their tails off. Hopefully, they’ll each earn the success and prosperity they deserve in the 2020-21 season.