Petro Pops In for a Workout
December 1, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Thursday at the PNY Center, NETS center Johan Petro met with media at the team's practice facility. He was the first player to report for a voluntary, unsupervised workout following the tentative settlement agreement reached by the NBA and its players.
The first player to show up for a voluntary, unsupervised workout at the Nets’ re-opened (to the players) practice facility was center Johan Petro, who lifted for 30 minutes Thursday in the PNY Center weight room before meeting with media. He wasn’t surprised to find himself alone.
“As soon as we left, everyone went home and worked out there,” Petro said. “For me, this (area) was my home, so I was here. But if I had to be in Florida working out, I would be there. Some guys went overseas to play, some went home to practice.”
Petro said that he considered playing overseas, but wanted to wait unti he was certain the NBA season wasn’t happening. Aiming to join a team in France, where he played professionally before being drafted by the Sonics in 2005, Petro was relieved to see the tentative settlement agreement come down before he was forced to make a decision.
The 7-footer spent the summer locally, apart from visiting France for a few weeks, working out daily and even taking up yoga to try something different while keeping himself in shape for whenever the lockout might be lifted. After averaging just 3.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 11.6 minutes per game last season, his first with the Nets, Petro was focused on re-shaping his body and preparing to protect the paint, with an eye toward more consistent play.
Otherwise, he kept busy by revamping his 2001 Chevy 1500 van, which teammates had been giving him grief for ever since its purchase last year.
“When (Deron Williams) first got traded here, he asked, ‘Who’s driving that?!’” Petro recalled. “I said, ‘It’s me. That’s my car, and this is what’s going on.’”
After redoing the interior and upgrading the sound system, Petro is convinced the ride is now “legit,” and that his teammates will find newer, more deserving targets. Besides, basketball’s back.
“Get this thing started,” Petro said. “I’m here. I’m ready to go. Crazy as it sounds, I miss my teammates.”