Ric Bucher made the defendable claim on Twitter that the Phoenix Suns training staff was the best in the league. I replied "Arnie Kander is chuckling." Bucher not only referenced me in his defense of the claim, but sent me a direct message about personally knowing how Arnie isn't an egomaniac. Being a fan of his writing at ESPN, it was pretty awesome that he acknowledged my existence.
Bucher defended his statement that Phoenix trainers were the best due to the warm, dry Arizona weather and a proven track record. Rather than just blast his account and resort to the lowest form of internet communication, I'm writing this article to argue against Ric Bucher's points and laud the brilliance of Arnie Kander.
Despite the loss of much of the core of the Pistons organization all the way to the top, Arnie Kander has been a mainstay of the Detroit Pistons since 1992. He is as much a reason for the Pistons' success as any of the players, coaches, or GMs. What puts him above the rest of the field is that on top his exceptional aptitude in modern physical training, his skill in alternative healing borders on wizardry.
Ric Bucher points to the Arizona weather. For troubled joints, the Arizona weather is better than Michigan's. That is why my grandparents from Flint winter there. Wouldn't that mean getting a basketball player to perform without pain in Detroit take that much more skill?
I will give credit to the Phoenix Suns trainers for bringing back Amare Stoudemire from micro fracture surgery and keeping Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Shaquille O'Neal going like a mechanic milking a few more years out of an aging vehicle, but there are just as compelling stories for Arnie Kander's brilliance along with tangible statistics and a better translation into winning.
Antonio McDyess was despondent after three teams and three knee surgeries in three years. Joe Dumars brought him in and with Kander's help, he became a premier sixth man. Chris Webber was considered completely useless on a basketball court. Then he came to Detroit and he was soon spurring a dominating second half of the season.
Arnie Kander is excellent at not only getting players healthy, but keeping players healthy. Tayshaun Prince has started an active league leading 435 games. He's second only to Andre Miller for total consecutive games. In the 2005-06 season, Detroit set the record of 73 consecutive games with the same starting line-up. That streak did not end because of injury but due to Rasheed Wallace's 15th technical foul.
I have full certainty that Arnie Kander's supreme powers were a major reason that Detroit Pistons won the 2004 championship and reached the Eastern Conference Finals for six straight years. Though I will give the Phoenix Suns trainers a little slack, because Robert Sarver is no Bill Davidson (may he rest in peace).
Though the argument about who is the best trainer could go on and on, it is undeniable that Arnie Kander has made a huge contribution to the Detroit Pistons' success. I am thankful for all he has done for my beloved Pistons.