After the Nuggets eliminated the Timberwolves in the first round of the playoffs, center Rudy Gobert vowed to have "the best summer" of his career.
Before last season, Gobert said his left knee never felt 100%, and nagging injuries popped up for him throughout the season, including back spasms that limited him at times in the postseason.
"I can really plan on having the best summer I've ever had and really come back like I want to have the best year of my career next season," Gobert said. "I know that this summer I'm going to put myself in positions that I've never put myself in before."
As part of his offseason regimen, Gobert took a page out of the playbook of Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
On Thursday, Gobert posted a photo on Instagram (@RudyGobert27) of what appears to be a tiny cabin in the middle of the woods.
"64 hours in full darkness," Gobert wrote in the caption. "One of the most powerful experiences i've had in this lifetime. Thank you @skycaveretreats."
The company Sky Cave Retreats advertises these dark retreats in southern Oregon, and they gained notoriety thanks in part to Rodgers, who said he embarked on one of their retreats before deciding his future NFL plans this offseason.
On its website, Sky Cave Retreats said those who enter a dark room are served two organic meals daily, and they cater to guests' other dietary requests. There is a bathroom with hot spring water. The cabin is out of cell phone service but there is WiFi in case of emergencies, located a quarter of a mile from any other dwellings.
One goal of the retreat is to produce "altered states of consciousness" without the aid of psychedelics or other medicines or drugs. The website says most guests tend to sleep for most of the first 24-48 hours and then, by Day 3, can experience more intense reactions.
"Altered states of consciousness can naturally begin to arise as early as the third day of the retreat and continue to intensify as the retreat progresses," Sky Cave Retreats' website said. "This is due to different neurochemical reactions that occur from various glands and hormones being both suppressed and/or stimulated from the light deprivation. This can result in heightened sensory sensitivities, visions, lucid dreaming and many other profound & insightful experiences."
Among the things on Gobert's to-do list this offseason was a potential decision to play in the FIBA World Cup for France. Gobert played internationally last summer and needed to manage his knee injury through Wolves training camp.
Gobert came into last season with great expectations, given the large haul of players and first-round draft picks the Wolves gave up to Utah to get him. He helped improve the Wolves' defense, but Gobert's season wasn't what he or fans were hoping for when he came to the team. There was an adjustment period for several teammates as they got used to playing alongside him on both ends of the floor.
"The biggest challenge was, for me, yeah, at first not being able … to impact the team, like I could," Gobert said. "And [that was for] multiple reasons. … I think that was the biggest challenge."
The winner of three Defensive Player of the Year awards, Gobert didn't receive a vote for the All-Defense team last season and, around the All-Star break, he pledged to the team he'd be better through the end of the season. The Wolves did have their best stretch of the season shortly after Karl-Anthony Towns came back from a right calf injury, and they were back at full strength.
But on the last day of the regular season, there was the infamous swing Gobert took at teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout. The team suspended him for a play-in game for the No. 7 seed against the Lakers, who are now in the Western Conference finals.
The Wolves led by double digits in the fourth quarter of that game before falling and eventually grabbing the No. 8 seed with a win over the Thunder three nights later.
"It was a great learning experience and I'm excited to see some real time together where we can get," Gobert said. "We saw some glimpses of that this year and we saw that we can give teams a lot of trouble."