There’s a classic scene in the cult hit movie “Ted” when the main characters meditate and sing a song to calm themselves during a thunderstorm. Now picture Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo in the leading role.
Adebayo doesn’t take it to the levels that Mark Wahlberg and his favorite stuffed animal do in the film. But the one-time All-Star center did find out that listening to recordings of thunderstorms was the best way to calm himself down in the Orlando bubble. It’s a practice that Adebayo has carried over into his everyday life, particularly as a way to get ready for big games. He explained how it work during a recent interview with GQ magazine:
It’s kind of like meditation. Turn all the lights off and just sit in the dark and turn on YouTube and go to thunderstorms. You envision yourself playing the game without playing the game again, if that makes sense.
When a lot of boxers have matches, they envision the move they’re gonna hit the dude with for a knockout. Then you get in that moment and it’s like, alright, this is the move. Or you’re just in that locked in mindset to where you’re like, alright, I’m taking over.
💥 @Bam1of1 was in attack mode all night
23 Pts / 8 Rebs / 5 Asts / 1 Blk / 3 Stls pic.twitter.com/Dv5V8iPHM8
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 22, 2021
He can visual all the post moves and big shots he’s about to make. Plus, it reminds him of his childhood growing up in a single-wide trailer in New Jersey where he could hear the thunder crashing all around him.
“It felt like they was right next to your window,” Adebayo said. “I had tin around my house, so when the rain would hit it, you could hear it. It was one of those like soothing sounds to me. It’s calming.”
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Adebayo States Case for Defensive Player of the Year
The battle for NBA Defensive Player of the Year has largely been a neck-and-neck race between Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons. The two have even embarked on a nasty war of words this season. Not so fast, there’s a new contender in town.
Adebayo has been stealthily climbing up the Defensive Player Ladder (via NBA.com) and now finds himself in third place after a dominating two-week stretch. He held Kyrie Irving to just 0-of-8 shooting and his buzzer-beater sealed a win over the Brooklyn Nets. Opposing players are shooting 39.6% from the field when Adebayo is locked up on them, 8.1% below their season average.
How many players can stay with Kyrie like this? Bam is a special defender pic.twitter.com/lhhECUCQMK
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 18, 2021
Preaching ‘Black Lives Matter’ Message
The 23-year-old big man has also been using his celebrity voice to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s something he has been dedicated to for a long time, but upped his involvement in the wake of the George Floyd killing. After Derek Chauvin — the ex-police officer who suffocated Floyd to death — was convicted of murder, Adebayo explained why it means so much to him.
“At the end of the day, I’m a Black man. At the end of the day, I’m going to have a Black family,” Adebayo said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “And it’s important to me to just verbalize that I am Black and my people aren’t treated fairly. That’s my one way to just put that out there, no matter what. I always end it with ‘Black Lives Matter,’ because at the end of the day, I’m a Black life and a lot of Black lives are being lost.”