Box & One: Keeping It Together

By Wesley Chism Jr.
Updated: March 6, 2007

SEATTLE — I caught up with Rashard Lewis of the Seattle Sonics and asked him what it was like being on the injured reserved.This is the first time after eight successful years in the NBA, straight out of Alief Elsik High School in Texas, that he’s ever been hurt for any significant length of time.

“To be honest with you, I was concerned,” said Rashard. “I’ve never missed so many games in my whole career and this was the first time that I was going to have major surgery,” he added.

This injury couldn’t have come at a worst time. The Sonics have been plagued with various injuries all season but prior to Rashard going down the team was able to put together a few runs that showed promise of things to come.

He was having an All-Star season and headed into his free agency year of his contract where he’s looking forward to the opportunity of testing the market.

I really had to work on all of my weaknesses such as ball handling.” Now Rashard injured his right hand so he did everything with his left hand. He did a lot of running, sprinting and conditioning.

He also credits changing his eating habits to his smooth transition back into the starting rotation. “I’m maturing and understand now more than ever how important it is to eat balance meals not just as a professional athlete but in life in general, this is something that I will continue for the rest of my life.”

The Sonics team trainer set up a special weight machine for Rashard to use and he currently has got about three inches of muscles on his chest to prove it. “I continued to run during practice using my left hand on the court and did dribbling drills to keep my rhythm so that when I was healed I could just put my right hand back in the mix.”

“I had to keep it together mentally and physically during this time away from the team. I was a little nervous about the injury because you never now if it could have been career ending or if I was able to recapture my form”.

“I think that successful rehabilitation depends on your dedication, faith and your determination to do the necessary little things to return to the team. The first and last thing that I thought of every day was rehabilitation.”

“I’m still a young man and have a lot of years ahead of me in the league and I want to make a mark for myself before saying goodbye.”

“I really didn’t have any idea on how or when I would be able to come back and I didn’t want to watch another game from the sidelines,” stated Rashard.

Well, at press time he’s averaging 21.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. I think that it’s safe to say that he’s feeling okay today buts going to be so much better.