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Copeland’s just chillin’

If you want to talk with Chris Copeland after a game, you better catch him quickly. Otherwise, you’re in for a long wait.

Copeland’s routine after home games is unique among the Pacers. He’ll undress after coach Frank Vogel has met with the players, taking a few minutes to chat with teammates or any reporters who wander by his locker, and then head for the cold tub in the training area. He’ll sit there, numbing his muscles, for a good 20 minutes. He’ll then shower and return to his locker and dress, where he can be engaged in conversation again if one’s deadlines and patience allow.

It’s a habit he picked up from then-teammate Jason Kidd while playing for New York two seasons ago.

“He told me, ‘If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you,’” Copeland said after chilling out following Friday’s win over Dallas. “I made it a habit in New York and it followed me here.”

The standard recommendation is 10 minutes in the tub, but Copeland stays for 20.

“When I come out I can’t even feel my legs anymore,” he said. “It really feels like a rejuvenation. Like my legs are brand new.

“If I don’t do it, the soreness and stiffness is 10 times worse (the next day).”

Here’s the catch, and the indicator of Copeland’s superior attitude and professionalism: he does it after practice, and even after home games in which he doesn’t play, which happened to be several of the games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse last season.

He doesn’t particularly enjoy it. Many times last season, it was a waste of time and shivers, because he didn’t even play in the next game. But he keeps doing it. Just because. And just in case.

About The Author

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Mark Montieth has more than 30 years of experience as a reporter, columnist, and feature writer for major media entities, and his work has been featured both in Indiana and across the country. This is his second full season contributing to Pacers.com, though he spent many years as the team's beat writer for the Indianapolis Star. Montieth also hosts a radio show called "One on One" on 1070 the Fan.

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