Staying Busy Thanks to Biking, Cooking, and Board Games
All-Star Big Man Domantas Sabonis Details His Daily Regimen
Before his season was so rudely interrupted, Domantas Sabonis was on a roll. He was averaging 18.5 points on 54 percent shooting and 12.4 rebounds (fifth in the NBA) and had just played his best three-game stretch of the season. Over the games at Chicago, at Dallas, and at home against Boston, he averaged 24 points on 62 percent shooting, 12.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. He had even hit two of his four 3-point attempts. His legendary father, Arvydas, is suggesting he work on his perimeter shooting in their FaceTime chats while Domantas rides out the NBA's schedule postponement from his offseason home in Los Angeles.
BY DOMANTAS SABONIS (as told to Mark Montieth)
I flew to Los Angeles the day the season was postponed. I am living here now with my girlfriend, Shashana. Her family lives near here and I'm FaceTiming with my family back in Lithuania every day, so I'm able to enjoy quality time with my loved ones. I wish I was with my family, too, but you can't have everything.
You have to make the best of every situation, so I'm trying to learn new things and do things I don't normally have time to do. I've been trying to play the guitar, and we're playing a lot of board games. I had a couple here already and her family has a bunch, so we brought them over here. I'd like to say I'm the Backgammon champion of this house, but I'm not.
It's funny, I always feel like I'm running out of time. There's so much to do, I'm not bored at all. Today, for example, I woke up and got breakfast. I'll work out at home for an hour or so, and then we'll bike to my girlfriend's mother's house to spend most of the day there. Her mother has a treadmill, so I'll use that. She has a pool, too, so when it's warm we can swim.
They have a hoop over there, but it's an outdoor court. I shoot every now and then but it's hard to do too often if the weather isn't good. One of my friends is building a house and he's going to have an indoor gym, so I'll go over there soon to see if it's done. Forget the house, I want him to finish the basketball court so I can practice in it. If it's done before we go back to playing again, that would be great.
I haven't been spending much time on social media. I don't really use Twitter. I can't remember the last time I posted something; I just use it as my newspaper. We don't watch a lot of TV, either, but we've been watching "Money Heist" on Netflix. We were already watching it before we got postponed. It's set in Spain, and it's really good.
I watched "The Last Dance" Sunday night. It was pretty amazing. You never know a lot of what goes on with a team. We come and play, but they don't know what goes on behind the scenes. Maybe something happened that morning that's a distraction, or you didn't sleep well, or your foot hurts. It's completely different than what people think. There's always drama. It's pretty fascinating to see all the inside stuff.
We're cooking a lot. I like to cook; it's fun. Sometimes we get lazy and get carryout but usually we cook for ourselves. We've made duck, lamb, ribs, steak, lasagna … we're baking, too, a lot of cakes. Just a bunch of stuff. I felt like I put on weight the first week we were off because it seemed like a mini-vacation, but then I started eating better – not eating better, just not as much.
We've also been making peanut butter sandwiches and dropping them off for the homeless people in the area. They're living in tents and it was raining one whole week, so we dropped off a bunch of tents and blankets, too.
I'm trying to stay in shape. There's a gym here in the condo but it's closed. The only way to get real conditioning is running, but I'm not going to run on the cement – it's bad for your knees. We've been doing a lot of biking. Some days we try to get a workout, but other days we just bike to my girlfriend's mother's house, about 30 minutes away.
I can't do much with weights here. I use a lot of resistance bands anyway and I have bands here. As far as my core and other muscles, I feel like I'm in better shape than before the season ended, but as far as aerobic conditioning you're never in as good of shape as you were when you were playing.
I haven't gone back and watched our games yet. I'll get to those soon. It's good to take your mind away from things. It's going to come back and it's going to come back full force. I've been watching a lot of basketball games on NBA TV, though, older games. I've been watching a lot of my dad's games, too. People keep digging around and getting new videos and sending them to me.
It's really fun for me to see. He was more versatile than I thought. Now there's a more versatility in the NBA, but not many people can do what he did. I can't even do all the stuff he did. He could spread out the floor and drive. In that era, a guy doing that at his size, it's pretty cool to see. You always hear about it and I had seen some of it, but I've been able to see a lot of his games.
It makes me want to work on some things. He's always been on me, saying, "You've got to get that mid-range shot consistent and then spread out to the 3-point line. Once you do that, they have to respect you. I know you can drive by people. You have all the other tools. It's going to change everything for you. It will make it easier for you to pass, too."
I'm enjoying myself out here, but I'm missing the team atmosphere - just being around the guys and being with the fans, getting ready for games, all that. We're so passionate, we love the game so much and we have a routine every day during the season. Out here right now I don't even have to set the alarm. I usually get up whenever and go on with my day. But you miss the routine.