In a now-rare turn of the tables, the Warriors are actually losing a key player to their success.
Head of physical performance and sports medicine Chelsea Lane – the first woman to oversee an NBA training staff – is leaving for the Atlanta Hawks, per The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson. In Atlanta, she’ll assume the position of executive director of athletic performance and sports medicine.
Many Warriors players have lauded her no-frills, but holistic approach to medicine.
“She’s great in both the physical and the mental, which is something that’s underrated,” Steph Curry said in a previous Athletic story. “There are ways you can approach injuries and the rehab process that keeps you engaged as opposed to it being work. There’s always a positive to learning something about your body and how it functions. For me, at least, that’s something I appreciate the most. You’re going to ice. You’re going to (get stimulation treatment). You’re going to do this workout, do that workout, get this treatment. There is more to it than that. She’s big picture.”
Originally from Australia, Lane has worked in a number of sports, including rugby. You’ve probably seen her short blond hair and popped polo collar on the Warriors’ sideline – she was the only woman there.
“She’s like a shrink to us,” Andre Iguodala explained. “A psychologist to us for real. And that isn’t her job description, either. But she sees how regularly we are dehumanized. People don’t even see us a human. They see us as machines. Our bodies no longer belong to us and there is disregard for our emotions, our feelings, our desires. But she knows how wrong that is and the effect it has on us. It’s rare for a player to confide in a team employee. But she knows NBA players deal with stress few others do. She’s like real family to me.”
The Warriors’ training staff has had a remarkably high rate of turnover – Lane was notably the fourth person to lead the staff since 2010. Lane is the second Warriors employee to leave for the Hawks; former assistant GM Travis Schlenk left to become the Hawks’ general manager and head of basketball operations last year.
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