Idan Ravin has never played or coached competitive basketball. He has no formal basketball training. Yet somehow, this mild-mannered, 38-year-old Jewish ex-lawyer is one of the NBA’s most sought-after personal trainers, known in basketball circles as “the Hoops Whisperer,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Ravin’s workouts are more psychological than physical, putting players through such stressful, chaotic drills that their physical game becomes nearly automatic.
“He knows exactly how to get into heads—especially mine,” says Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony, one of Ravin’s most devoted followers. Other adherents include the likes of Chris Paul, Jason Richardson, and Gilbert Arenas. Unlike other top trainers, Ravin doesn’t own a gym, and he tells players to pay him whatever they think is fair. To make ends meet, he runs a variety of ethnic dating sites off his laptop. (Read more NBA stories.)