Former Timberwolf Tom Hammonds is -- who knew -- a bigwig in hot rod racing. Hammonds tells Rob Geiger Sr. of NHRA.com that his 12 years in the NBA were good preparation for his second career as a driver and team owner:
"There is a crazy amount of work involved to stay in the NBA. You're up every day at 7 a.m. You're at the gym by 9 getting taped up. You're practicing for three or four hours a day. Then you're watching film. Then you're lifting weights and training for another two hours. It's nonstop. The travel is brutal, way more than NHRA, with 40-something road games a year. You're never home. The running and dunking that people see on TV is a very, very small part of the life."
For Hammonds, the discipline he learned to survive 12 years at the top level of basketball translates extremely well to NHRA competition.
"The professionalism you need to succeed is the same," he said. "The need to seek out the best talent to have on your team is very similar. The amount of hours you need to put in doesn't change. The biggest difference, for me at least, is that now I'm also the owner. It starts with me now. I played for four different teams. I think I have a real good idea how people want and need to be treated to get to a point where they'll run through walls for you."