Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors promote Alex McKechnie to Vice President of Player Health and Performance

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Alex McKechnie poses with the Larry O'Brien Trophy (NBAE/Getty Images)

Alex McKechnie, the man credited with implementing the "load management" protocol that preserved the health of numerous Toronto Raptors stars - namely Kawhi Leonard - will continue to be with the franchise for years to come.

The team announced on Tuesday that McKechnie has signed a contract extension and been promoted to Vice President, Player Health and Performance.

McKechnie joined the Raptors in 2011 to oversee all athletic training, rehabilitation and strength and conditioning for the franchise. Prior to coming to Toronto, McKechnie spent 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, eight of which were spent as the athletic performance coordinator.

During his time with the Lakers, the team won five championships; last season was the sixth in which McKechnie was a part of an NBA championship-winning team. The Raptors' official release acknowledges that McKechnie is "regarded as an industry leader in core training and movement integration."

Leonard himself credited his success to McKechnie's approach, telling ESPN's Rachel Nichols during the 2019 Finals that "if we didn't do that (load management), I wouldn't be here right now."

The 67-year-old physiotherapist is a native of Glasgow, Scotland and first came to Canada in 1974 to work at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. He has since worked with the Vancouver Whitecaps (1974-92), the 1976 Canadian Olympic Soccer Team, the Vancouver Canucks (1980-2000) and the Canadian Senior Men's National Soccer Team in 2000.

In 2018, McKechnie was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and he is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Full release can be found here.

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