All right, let’s forget about basketball for a second. This is something you have to hear.

Kyle Korver, as you probably know, is a great shooter. In fact, the Atlanta Hawks guard scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting – including 6-of-7 from three-point range – in a 109-102 loss to Toronto on Wednesday. As you might imagine, Korver spent a lot of time shooting three-pointers this summer, but he also spent a lot of time doing something else: continuing his misogi tradition.

What is misogi, you ask? It’s a Japanese purification ritual. Every offseason, Korver does an extreme fitness challenge. This year, he and some friends did an underwater 5k while holding an 85-pound rock.

“Basically, you find something every year to really challenge yourself,” Korver explained on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Not something that you think you can probably do, but something where you feel like (if) circumstances are perfect, you got like maybe a 50-50 chance of getting this thing done. You go for it. You try it. You find out what your boundaries are, and you push yourself a little farther.”

Okay, but an underwater 5k? With an 85-pound rock? Really?

“You’d go down and you’d pick it up and you’d run as far as you could,” Korver said. “And you’d drop it and you go up and you get air, and then your partner would go down and pick it up and he’d go as far as he could. And we ran 3.1 miles. It probably sounds a little crazy, but it’s something we do every year.”

Korver and his friends performed the 5k on a cluster of islands near California, where the water was fairly clear and warm.

“Part of the challenge was finding the rock,” Korver said. “If you couldn’t find the rock, you wasted your whole breath trying to find this thing, so we went somewhere where it was a little bit clear.”

Korver said a really good run was probably about 20 yards.

“Just to pick the thing up took a lot of energy,” Korver said of the rock.

Last year, Korver and his friends paddle-boarded roughly 30 miles across the open ocean.

“That was long,” Korver said. “That was like nine hours, I think, out in the middle of the ocean, and then last year we did this rock run. Who comes up with this stuff, I don’t know.”

Korver isn’t sure yet what he’ll do next year.

“You can do anything,” he said. “You don’t have to do a physical challenge. You could say, I’m not going to talk for a month. Or you could draw a circle on the floor and say I’m going to sit in this circle for two days. You can do whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be a physical challenge but because we’re guys and we like this type of thing, we try to do some physical challenge.

“We’ll find something,” Korver continued. “You have to go big.”


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