By Dave McMenamin
ESPN Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers’ laughter of a win Sunday would have been even more lopsided if not for Andris Biedrins offering some semblance of resistance against L.A.’s twin towers, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, down low.
But even if the seven-year center out of Latvia had a career night, it wouldn’t have mattered with the Lakers shooting 55.7 percent as a team and racking up assists on 32 of 44 baskets.
There was one assist by the Lakers that went unaccounted for, however. It was the one served up by Lakers athletic performance coordinator Alex McKechnie to Biedrins this past summer.
Biedrins was operated on for a sports-related hernia last March. When it came to rehabbing the injury during the offseason, he consulted with the Warriors’ training staff and his agent, Bill Duffy, and both parties recommended the same person: McKechnie and his training center in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“They told me he was the best,” Biedrins said.
Biedrins started using McKechnie’s patented Core X regiment on his own before heading up to Canada for several weeks for some direct instruction from McKechnie. McKechnie’s facilities are open to any athlete during the NBA offseason. According to McKechnie’s website, 24 out of the 30 NBA teams use Core X. The Lakers encourage McKechnie’s collaboration, feeling that his services enhance the league. The open policy has already paid off. McKechnie worked with Theo Ratliff in the summer of 2002 when he was with the Atlanta Hawks and the Lakers ended up signing Ratliff as a free agent this past summer.
“It works,” Biedrins said of the training method. “Now I feel really strong and healthy just to make sure the injury won’t come back.”
Biedrins has started all 13 of Golden State’s games this season after injuries caused him to miss 69 games over the past two seasons.
“Basically I just re-educate them and redevelop strength and conditioning, but through a series of exercises that’s specifically designed to create core stabilization,” McKechnie said. “I take pride in the fact that I can help players continue their career. In some cases a condition like
Asked if the Lakers-Warriors rivalry in the Pacific Division was brought up during his visit, Biedrins laughed.
“No,” he said with the smile of a healthy man on his face. “There was no business. Everything was more pleasure.”
Dave McMenamin is a regular contributor to the Daily Dime.
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