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