MUSCLEWATCH 2015 (Update 1)

METAIRIE, LA - SEPTEMBER 28: Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans poses for photos during NBA Media Day on September 28, 2015 at the New Orleans Pelicans practice facility in Metairie, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)


NBA training camps have convened, exhibition games are underway, and we all know what that means: The return of MUSCLEWATCH.

Before we get to the muscles, what, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? Basically, it began decades ago when my friend Matt and I noticed our local paper would always report that players had gained 15 pounds of MUSCLE in the off-season. No matter the sport, it was never 12 pounds, never 16, never 9, never 18, but it always seemed to be “15 pounds of muscle.” So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE. Eventually, MUSCLEWATCH became about more than just the “15 pounds of muscle” and more about guys who had either gained or lost a lot of weight. Previous winners include Thaddeus Young and Rudy Gay.

And remember, MUSCLEWATCH cannot be successful without your help. The most effective way to let us here at MUSCLEWATCH HQ know if you see any MUSCLEWATCH news is to tweet and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH.

Also, for what it’s worth, we need numbers. If you’re going to be vague, that’s not MUSCLEWATCH. I’m talking to you, Bulls GM Gar Forman

Hey. we’re all glad Derrick Rose “looks terrific,” but if you want to play MUSCLEWATCH, we need actual digits.

Now, let’s get swole …

• Let’s start with a classic. Hey, you know the young Pelicans star Anthony Davis? Well, guess who put on exactly 15 pounds of muscle?

• I believe this is a first, but how about a coach MUSCLEWATCH? A few months back, Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins emailed “The Rachael Ray Show” and got help losing weight, and has so far dropped 22 pounds. He’s hoping to get to his playing weight, which would mean a total weight loss of about 40 pounds!

This brings up a potentially thorny issue: Should coaches be eligible for MUSCLEWATCH? This will require some hard thought on my end, but my initial reaction is no, because they do not make their living with their bodies. Also, they spend time sleeping on couches and studying playbooks and eating from vending machines and stuff. I almost trust a coach who’s in great shape less than I would a husky coach.

• Just when you think you’ve seen it all, we had something of a first this season: a reverse MUSCLEWATCH, where a player asked the world about their muscles. Thanks for the attention, Marcin Gortat, although I have to say, I think MUSCLEWATCH sounds better than FATCHECK.

• Speaking of Gortat, this tweet is a little confusing — not sure if Gortat gained 3 or 4 pounds or Otto Porter gained the weight.

• Charlotte forward Al Jefferson says he’s lost over 20 pounds by giving up fried chicken. “Every Popeye’s commercial I see, I have to turn the TV off,” Jefferson told the Charlotte Observer. Hey, Al, I’m right there with you — love that chicken from Popeye’s.

• We’ve been keeping an eye on Kyle Lowry all summer, as the Toronto point guard has been showing off his slimmer physique on social media all summer. Now that he’s in camp, though, we still don’t have a real number as far as how weight Lowry lost, which is disappointing.

CBS’s James Herbert did some reporting — and thanks for the MUSCLEWATCH shoutout in the article! — but still couldn’t uncover the exact number…

“Y’all seen the picture,” DeRozan said. “It was a shock. It was a shock to everybody, it was a shock to me. So I made him come see me in LA to see if it was real.”

Despite being backcourt mates and close friends, DeRozan and Lowry apparently haven’t talked in detail about what this transformation would mean. “I think he’s trying to be more athletic or something,” DeRozan said. “Trying to play above the rim or something. I don’t know what he’s doing.”

Lowry was noticeably lighter in more ways than one. Amused by all the questions about his body, he told a reporter, “I can still bench press you.” He wouldn’t reveal how much weight he lost, only that none of his pants fit. “It’s nice having abs,” he said wryly. “I can walk around with my shirt off, my wife’s like, ‘Wow.’ She likes me.”

Casey said that most of the Raptors couldn’t make it through the regimen Lowry followed, but Lowry downplayed it. While he admitted that he hired a new nutritionist as a complement to his personal chef, he also said he took a month off at the end of last season. He “changed a few things that needed to be changed,” but to him it’s just a part of not being a “young pup” anymore.

Come on, Toronto reporters. MUSCLEWATCH needs you!

• Another early leader in the clubhouse? Andrew Bogut not only won a title, he went on a big-time diet…

Thirty pounds! This prompted me to conduct some in-depth research — a.k.a. Google — and I found out Bogut lost 22 pounds after watching a documentary

Most of the credit, according to Bogut, should go to Is Sugar the New Fat?, a documentary he watched on Australian TV in August. Bogut was stunned to discover how the low-fat revolution in the ’80s and ’90s resulted in food manufacturers replacing fat with sugar.

“I changed my diet a little bit,” he said. “It’s really worked wonders for me.

“I watched that documentary,” Bogut added. “It’s unbelievable, man. (Sugar) is in absolutely everything. I have a couple friends that are label readers. I used to give them so much (crap), telling them, ‘Man, just eat it. Stop reading the label.’ And now I’m one of those guys.”

Fat is fine, but gone are the processed sugars, also known as bad carbs. Bogut’s physique is flatter, his face more angled. His weight, previously around 275, has dropped into the low 250s.

• According to Wizards broadcaster Steve Buckhantz, Washington swingman Martell Webster has made a transformation…

Now, to be fair, I don’t think Webster is actually all muscle — I imagine he is also made up of things like bones and organs and stuff — but 20 pounds is a significant weight loss! Nice work, Mr. Webster.

• Last season, Shabazz Muhammad was a MUSCLEWATCH contender after working out with a crazy ex-military guy in the offseason. Muhammad apparently went back to the same trainer this summer and added 13 pounds of muscle. So close to the fabled 15 pounds of muscle. So close, and yet so far. Looking good, tho…

• In Utah, Derrick Favor makes a surprise appearance on MUSCLEWATCH, as he nominated himself…

I have to say, there’s a lot of wiggle room between 10 and 20 — hopefully we get this reported out with a bit more detail if Mr. Favors truly wants to contend for the MUSCLEWATCH crown.

Also in Utah, Rudy Gobert (a.k.a. The Stifle Tower) went hard in the weight room this summer, to the amusement of teammate Gordon Hayward

We have no official news on Hayward, but some fan art points out that he seems to be bulkier than ever this year…

• I think this is a first: Ben Gordon went vegetarian and dropped 15 pounds. He now weighs 185, which was his high school weight.

Ian Mahinmi added 7-8 pounds of muscle.

Austin Rivers spent his summer getting bulky…

• We see you, Tyus Jones

• Finally, some odds and ends…


  1. mweeda says:

    Tony Snell up 17# this summer. Now 225 after being drafted 2 years ago at 190.

  2. Frank says:

    What about Jared Sullinger, there were lots of reports concerning his lower weight, I wonder how much did he lost!

  3. dave says:

    Gordon Hayward = Captain America, looks 30+ lbs heavier.

  4. Lovins says:

    When is Kevin Durant going to get in the weight room with these guys? Such a shame every time he gets swiped driving the lane or can’t even post up a point guard because he’s so weak.