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Issue Date: November 2007

Practice Made Perfect

Jay Casey
Of course, we all knew it would be fit for the King. But the new Cleveland Clinic Courts, tucked along state Route 21 in Independence, has everything the NBA’s 2007 Eastern Division champions need to set the team on course for a repeat performance. We asked Tad Carper, Cleveland Cavaliers senior vice president of communication, for the lowdown on the house LeBron built.

AMENITIES: The 50,000-square-foot facility houses two side-by-side courts, a 3,000-square-foot weight and conditioning area, a 150-inch HD projection screen with stadium seating, and a Hydroworx 2000 underwater treadmill. “We feel we have the premier player development facility in the country, if not the world,” says Carper. “The treadmill is a great way for players to cool down after practice and helps with rehabilitation, recovery and injury prevention.”

MEDICAL CARE: Because of their partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, the Cavs have a world-class health organization looking after players. Trainers and physicians can even view X-rays, MRIs, bone scans and more at the new facility. They’ll also use the Primus computer rehabilitation system, which is used by the U.S. Olympic Committee and only one other NBA team. “We can pull up medical files in real time from the Clinic, which affords us a great level of efficiency in dealing with injuries.” Explains Carper, “[The Primus system] allows us to monitor, rehab and track sports-specific movement.”

COOL STUFF: “Just off the court, we installed Kaiser exercise machines that use air pressure in place of weights,” says Carper. The building is also completely wireless. “We have iPod docking stations so the players can listen to their favorite music while they work out.”

PRICE TAG: $25 million

TAX ARRANGEMENT: The practice facility carries a 20-year lease, and the tax revenue it generates from the Cavaliers’ payroll will be split. “The cities of Cleveland and Independence will split income tax revenue evenly,” says Carper.

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