Why Golden State's stars love Kiwi physio so much: 'I feel a bit like aunty Chelsea'

As the Golden State Warriors' head performance therapist for three years, Chelsea Lane has become known by the likes of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as 'aunty Chelsea'.

Not bad considering before her stint with the three-time NBA champions she was working for Athletics New Zealand and hadn't even heard of Golden State or its megastars.

Working in Auckland, she received an email asking whether she would be interested in a new role the NBA team was creating.

"I actually emailed them back and said 'I don't know what you need help with but let me know what your problem is and I'll see if I can help,'" she told 1 NEWS.

She was encouraged to Google the team and after she did, it wasn't long before she was on her way to their Oakland headquarters to become the first ever female to lead an NBA training staff.

She says her role can be described in three words - "maximise player availability" - and in this year's NBA title run, a season nearly derailed by injuries to key players, Lane was the most important member of Golden State.

After Klay Thompson sustained an ankle sprain in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Lane gave him around-the-clock treatment over three days. He came back to score 20 points in Game 2.

When Curry missed most of March and April with ankle and knee injuries, Lane stayed in Oakland with him while the team was on road trips.

He says her pep talks helped the two-time MVP keep perspective. In those quiet moments, Lane lightened the mood with a joke when she sensed Curry was down.

"She's been huge, just being there for us," Curry said during the NBA Finals. "Every guy kind of copes with injuries differently. She's been big in helping us through the recovery process and kind of giving us the game plan of how we can get back on the floor."

Lane is also one of the very few people to have ever visited the home of Golden State's 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who praised her for helping him recover from numerous injuries to his back and legs.

But of all the stars she has befriended, she says Thompson is one that stands out because of his "Kiwi-like" attitude.

"I've never met a human being so unique as Klay Thompson," she said. "So considerate and so human that I don't think I'll ever meet another one again.

"As much as you can be an NBA star he's the most normal dude you'll ever come across. He loves his dog, he walks in the park, he goes to the beach … he's sort of Kiwi.

"He's just that chilled out, living life, loves everybody, flies under the radar and doesn't even believe his own press. How you can be a superstar like that and not even know that you are very special."

Born in Australia, Lane considers herself a Kiwi after working with New Zealand's Olympic athletes for nine years.

She is married to former New Zealand bobsledder and athletics coach Matt Dallow, the couple still own a house in Auckland which they consider to be their permanent home.

After watching Golden State sweep LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 in the Finals in June, Lane was approached by the Atlanta Hawks to take up a new role as their executive director of athletic performance.

The Hawks finished dead last in the Eastern conference this year but it's a challenge she is excited about.

"It's like two ends of the NBA spectrum and people think I'm mad to be so excited about it but that's the thing – we're going to build something from the ground up and see what we can do with that."

Chelsea Lane has also been called the team's psychologist, adviser and even part-time comedian. Source: 1 NEWS

Steven Adams takes the mickey, flexes and shows off body-building poses during media photo shoot

Oklahoma City Thunder star Steven Adams may possibly have a post-NBA modelling career, after showcasing some hilarious poses during a media photo shoot today.

The seven foot (2.13m) tall Thunder centre flexed and pulled out some body-building poses, which had cameramen and photographers laughing during his side's media day session.

During his press conference earlier today he hit reporters with some classic one-liners, answering questions about whether he would implement three-pointers to his game this season.

"Shoot a three? No, absolutely not," said Adams.

The OKC star had reporters laughing as usual after some classic one-liners during today's media day. Source: OKC Thunder

"Maybe preseason, I've got to see mate - don't want to lose my job. It's tough."

The Thunder begin their 2018/2019 NBA pre-season at home next month on October 4, against the Detroit Pistons.

The 25-year-old was on fire during today’s OKC media session. Source: Twitter/ @SneakerReporter



'Don't want to lose my job': Steven Adams dishes on three-pointers & being 'awkward Kiwi guy'

Oklahoma City Thunder star Steven Adams kept reporters entertained as per usual with his classic one liners during a press conference today.

But he refrained from revealing entirely whether he would add three-pointers to his game this season.

A reporter questioned Adams on whether he would finally attempt a three-pointer in the NBA this season, after a number of videos on social media showed the Kiwi centre sinking shots from behind the arc in training.

"Shoot a three? No, absolutely not," said Adams.

"Maybe preseason, I've got to see mate - don't want to lose my job. It's tough."

The 25-year-old went on to describe himself as an ordinary, awkward New Zealander to another reporter.

"You can just say I'm a Kiwi guy, awkward Kiwi guy, keep it simple."

The Thunder begin their 2018/2019 NBA pre-season at home next month on October 4, against the Detroit Pistons.

The OKC star had reporters laughing as usual after some classic one-liners during today's media day. Source: OKC Thunder



Basketball NZ, Tall Blacks take aim at FIBA after pinning 'ugly' win against Lebanon on tough travel schedule

Basketball New Zealand has re-ignited its call for more High Performance Sport New Zealand funding while also taking a shot at FIBA after the Tall Blacks moved to the cusp of World Cup qualification.

The Tall Blacks’ 63-60 win over Lebanon in Rotorua was marred by a poor shooting performance in which the hosts only netted 28 per cent of their attempted shots.

Both teams struggled after a marathon 43-hour travel schedule which saw the Tall Blacks leave Beirut at shortly after their 107-66 win over Syria last Friday

They arrived in Rotorua on Sunday morning at 2:30am.

Head coach Paul Henare said the draining journey reflected in the match.

"It was just a bit disappointing with the scheduling from FIBA that it had to be a grind out game," he said.

"It was never going to be pretty, it was always going to be ugly and I'm sure that's not what FIBA are trying to achieve."

Basketball NZ CEO Iain Potter says the sport’s governing body needs to look at the bigger picture.

"I don't think FIBA has fully appreciated the travel logistics to get from the Middle East to New Zealand.

"It's no surprise the players were demonstrating some mental and physical fatigue."

But the travel has also reiterated Basketball NZ's calls for more government funding.

Each window costs the organisation NZ$100,000 and this year’s series of qualifiers are particularly taking its toll, Potter said.

"We are going to run at a loss this year because of the four windows in this calendar year.

"It constrains us at times in terms of what we can do with the team."

And their case is now becoming stronger to HPSNZ.

World Cup qualification is within reach with home wins over Jordan and Syria later this year likely enough to book their ticket to China.

Both teams struggled in last night’s World Cup qualifier after clocking up 43 hours of travel earlier this week. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Lebanon falter in final seconds to Tall Blacks' desperate defence as game-winning shot misses rim completely

The Tall Blacks have claimed a miraculous 63-60 comeback win in their World Cup qualifier match against Lebanon tonight thanks to clutch free throw shooting and desperate defence.

The Tall Blacks were playing catch up for almost the entire match in Rotorua with poor shooting from the field seriously hindering their cause.

The home side shot just under 28 per cent from the field in tonight’s game – seriously behind their opponents who shot 38 per cent.

The main issue came from behind the arc with the Tall Blacks making just four of 23 three-point attempts.

It saw them fall behind to a 7-18 deficit after the first quarter, but strong plays from the Webster brothers and Shea Ili saw them claw back to sit 25-25 at halftime.

The game remained a seesaw of poor shooting until the final minute of the match with Lebanon leading 60-59.

Lebanon held possession as the clock ticked down but New Zealand’s defence forced a rare turnover as the visitors were called for travelling.

That led to big offensive play at the other end with Corey Webster putting up a two-pointer.

The shot missed but he managed to get his own rebound and dish the ball to Ili who went for a shot of his own but was fouled.

Ili remained composed at the free throw line to score both shots and give the Tall Blacks a 61-60 lead with 20 seconds left.

The defence again shut down Lebanon as they were forced into a miracle three-point shot with six seconds to go, but the shot missed the rim completely and was rebounded by Reuben Te Rangi.

Te Rangi then put the game on ice with another pair of made free throws.

After getting a late call up to the team, Corey Webster made his presence known in the match. The experienced guard finished with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.

His efforts were matched by his brother Tai who scored 13 points along with seven rebounds, four assists and a steal.

With the win, the Tall Blacks sit top of their World Cup qualifier pool on seven wins from eight matches – one point ahead of Lebanon.

With the top three teams from each pool qualifying for the World Cup in China next year, the result boosts the Kiwi side’s chances immensely.

The Tall Blacks now have two months off before their next match when they host Jordan in Christchurch on November 29.