At the end of the 2021-22 regular season, Saddiq Bey was told by coaches to give basketball a rest and relax a little bit before resuming basketball activities.
Coming into his third season in the NBA, Bey has gained a reputation for being quite the gym rat. After his rookie season, Bey went from playing with Team USA Select to participating in the Las Vegas Summer League and then playing all 82 games with the Pistons. Even on his off-nights, Bey frequently spent his free time in Detroit’s practice facility.
The obsession with playing and improving led to a funny exchange between the former Villanova product and Detroit’s coaching staff.
“It was recommended to me by the staff (to take time off),” Bey said with a smile at his end-of-season media availability.
Bey subsequently kicked rocks into the high-altitude environment of Boulder, CO. Bey asked Piston’s video coordinator Aaron Dotson to join him as he had rented a three-story Airbnb. Between their two-a-day workouts, Bey picked up hiking as a hobby, perfect for the mountainous environment he surrounded himself with over the offseason.
“I like being off the grid,” Bey told The Athletic last week. “It’s quiet. It’s peaceful.”
Having hiking and fishing as activities, he can get his mind off hooping allows Bey to recharge at least once a week this summer. Bey picked Boulder for basketball reasons; he knew that being in a high-altitude city like Boulder would help improve his conditioning for the 2022-23 season. It doesn’t hurt that he fulfilled the wishes of the powers that be in Detroit by picking up a hobby.
As recently as Monday, Bey says he feels like he’s in the best shape of his life because of Boulder. His workouts have consisted of improving his handle and getting his shot off quicker. Coach Dwane Casey reportedly wants to use Bey more as a pick-and-roll creator going into his third season with Detroit. Because of that, Bey and Dotson have simulated countless pick-and-roll reps.
“He’s such a worker,” Dotson said. “He just wanted a new challenge. The first week we got to the mountains, it was tough.”
Above all, you can’t make Bey stop wanting to go to the gym and put up some shots.
“I’m just always in the gym,” Bey said. “It’s hard for me to find another hobby. This was the best that I could do.”