This is the time of summer when the reports are flying that “Player X lost 15 pounds and is in great shape” or “Player Y added 10 pounds of muscle this summer.” All such claims should be taken with all the salt you would take late-night infomercial claims of weight loss/muscle gain.
What makes Cavaliers second-year player Tyler Zeller different is how he added some muscle this summer.
Krispy Kreme donuts. Like 10 of them in a sitting.
“They’re so good,” he said, unabashedly. “If you get them hot….”
Yeah, yeah. We know.
“I ate about six in probably 10 minutes, maybe less,” he said.
Zeller ate more than just donuts, and he admitted he ate a lot to add weight but had to get in the gym and get back in shape, turn some of that into muscle. He said he is up between 255-260 pounds, which is a little more than 10 pounds heavier than he played most of last season.
Zeller had a nice if unspectacular rookie season — he averaged 7.9 points a game on 43.8 percent shooting and grabbed 5.7 rebounds a game. You could see a potential future rotation player in there, if he keeps working on his game.
His role will be different this season — Zeller started 55 games last season, but with Andrew Bynum now in the fold (and in theory healthy enough to play some games) and Anderson Varejao expected back, Zeller will likely be coming off the bench. Fewer minutes, more energy is the hope.
We’ll see. But if he learned one thing out of his rookie season, it’s how to make a good donut run. Apparently.
Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver
That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.
Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.
What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.