a98ad875-9f61-45c8-b274-e635c8dd7a0a-620x372This week’s New Yorker features a short piece about Idan Ravin, a basketball guru (he refers to himself as the “Hoops Whisperer”) who runs a private Basketball Gym for the Stars in Manhattan. Get a load of this guy:

He refers to his practice court as a “sanctuary,” to his clients as “Dream Catchers,” and to his koans of wisdom as “Idanics.” (“There is no ‘I’ in ‘team,’ but there are two in ‘listening.’ ”)…

…Ravin is known for high-intensity, unorthodox workouts—in one, featured in a Nike commercial, he tosses tennis balls at Carmelo Anthony while Anthony dribbles a basketball. Twenty minutes into the session, Diggins started to tear up, a regular occurrence among Ravin’s clients of both genders. (“Tears were like the bread crumbs in the Hansel and Gretel fable,” he writes. “They led me to the source of vulnerability.”) Ravin mentioned that J. R. Smith, of the Knicks, has thrown up in front of him on four separate occasions.

About that last item: we’re pretty sure J.R. throws up regularly at Sunday afternoon games at Madison Square Garden.

Anyway, Ravin’s first client was Steve Francis (who could probably use a Life Whisperer right about now), and he’s since compiled an All-NBA-caliber roster of zen-seeking stars: Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry. That list also includes LeBron James, who Ravin revealed treats money exactly how one would expect a rich guy to treat money:

With the Dream Catchers still in-season, Ravin was spending much of April working with Skylar Diggins, one of the best young players in the W.N.B.A. “It’s important to have somewhere private to take them,” he said one morning, standing outside the private Manhattan gym where he holds his workouts. “No cameras, no fans. It makes them vulnerable.” After Diggins arrived, Ravin bought a Gatorade from a vending machine and left a quarter in the change slot—a practice that, he says, he got from LeBron James, who deems one-dollar bills too small to bother with.

To be fair, I do the same thing, except replace “$1 bills” with “pennies”. Because ain’t nobody — poor or rich — got time for pennies.

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