It’s the NBA offseason, which means we should be on “he lost weight/he gained muscle” watch. Between now and when training camps open the last week of September, every team will push the story that some player lost weight or has gained muscle, and everyone will suddenly be in the best shape of their lives.
That said, DeMarcus Cousins does look slimmed down.
He previously said he lost 20 pounds, and at the NBA Africa game this week he said this is the best he has ever felt.
Alvin Gentry will be happy.
Since the day he entered the NBA coaches have been pushing Cousins to slim down and get his conditioning up so he could run more in an up-tempo offense — when he does he’s an almost unstoppable NBA big man. Mike Krzyzewski really pushed that with Team USA (which plays up tempo). And over the years, Cousins has lost some weight and gotten in better shape.
He also seems to have made a leap this summer.
Will that translate to success in New Orleans next season? We’ll see. Plenty of executives on other teams have doubts that Cousins and Anthony Davis can play well as a big front line, especially with the lack of shooting around them on this roster. If it doesn’t work this year, expect major shakeups coming to the Pelicans.
But a thinner, better-conditioned Cousins gives New Orleans a better chance.