Nice Guy Finishes First

“Apparently, Masai Ujiri likes torturing himself. At the moment, it’s not clear why. We’re in Studio K-O, a box-fit training facility on King Street west of Bathurst. Not 20 minutes ago, having just landed on a delayed flight from Chicago, Ujiri drove up in a black Chevy Suburban. In the change room he donned shorts and zipped a camo-patterned nylon hoodie to his neck. Now, his hands encased in 12-ounce boxing gloves, his playlist of Nigerian Afrobeat music throbbing around him, Ujiri pounds the thick mitts his trainer wears on her hands as she moves around the room calling out punch combinations. He repeats each combo 15 or 20 times for 30 minutes, giving it everything he has, while his trainer introduces footwork and body movement to mimic a fight. Halfway through, he’s hanging off a heavy bag like a man clinging to life itself.”

Trevor Cole – Toronto Life – November 2019

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