The Golden State Warriors are really good at shooting the basketball.
OK, that’s not a secret. But a nugget about the Warriors practice facility from Baxter Holmes of ESPN starts to put into perspective just how good the Warriors sharpshooters are and just how much they work on their craft.
In a story about the life and history of basketball nets in general, Holmes notes that Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant practice their shooting on the same basket at the Warriors’ practice facility, with both working with assistant coach Bruce Fraser.
During a typical practice, Curry will make about 250 shots, with about one-third of those coming from three-point range. Durant will make approximately 200 shots on a given day.
As a result of all their shooting — and especially because of their accuracy — Eric Housen, the Warriors’ equipment manager, estimates that the net on that basket has to be changed “every few weeks,” and not just because it is no longer pristine.
Holmes described one such net during a practice:
Its original bone-white complexion has faded into shades of brown, grey and burnt orange. Take a whiff, and you’ll pick up on a strong scent of leather and sweat, with just a hint of dirt. Of its dozen polyester cords, looping through the iron rim, many near the front and side are frayed to a handful of intact fibres, and the rear two cords — right where a dead-eye swish would connect — are on life support, barely hanging on.
“We need to change that net out,” Kerr says.
But here is the kicker: those nets are designed to last a lot longer.
According to Holmes, Spalding, the company that makes the nets, tests them with a special machine. The machine cycles “six to eight balls, one after the other, through a net at different angles and at 20 miles per hour to test for durability.”
“We’ve run the NBA net through 10,000 cycles on our machine and it still looks perfectly fine,” Spalding told Holmes. “It’s just a little bit dirty.”
Apparently things are not much better during games at Oracle Arena. While the NBA only requires that nets be changed once every seven games, the Warriors have to swap theirs out after every game.
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