NBA training camps are in full swing. Optimism is in the air. The NBA streets are filled with stories of summer improvement: point guards who reworked their jump shots, big men who found a renewed committed to defence, and player after player who got into “the best shape of his life.”
“The best shape of his life” is the chosen phrase coaches and beat writers use to breed hope that a player is about to have a huge year. It may or may not mean anything at all.
This year’s list of best-shape-in-his-lifers includes draft busts looking to recover from poor rookie years, rookies with athleticism concerns, and players coming back from long-term injuries.
As a companion to Lang Whitaker’s indispensable MUSCLEWATCH coverage of NBA weight fluctuations, here’s every guy who’s in “the best shape of his life” right now.
1. Anthony Bennett of the Cleveland Cavaliers is in the best shape of his life:
2. Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics is in the best shape of his life (via MassLive):
“As both Rondo and Stevens looked forward to the 2014-15 season, they knew so much needed to change. The point guard determined to get into the best shape of his life. He would never admit to caring what anyone else thinks, but he badly wanted to reestablish himself as one of the NBA’s top point guards.”
3. Jonas Jerebko of the Detroit Pistons is in the best shape of his life (via NBA.com):
“Jonas Jerebko got in the best shape of his life after spending more time in the practice facility than anyone over the summer.”
4. Kyle Anderson of the San Antonio Spurs is in the best shape of his life (via Kyle Anderson’s dad):
“We’re going to get back in the gym this afternoon and start working out so that he’s in the best shape of his life going down to San Antonio,” Kyle Anderson Sr. said. “Most people after the draft day get to sit back and think about it, but me and him are back at work.”
5. Will Bynum of the Detroit Pistons is in the best shape of his life (via Detroit Free Press):
“Will Bynum has changed his diet and is in the best shape of his life. By all accounts, every member of the Detroit Pistons is ready to rock when training camp opens Tuesday morning — and it appears new coach Stan Van Gundy’s message has gotten across.”
6. Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies is in the best shape of his life (via SB Nation):
“Add all of this great Herrington information in with the fact that Marc Gasol is, by all accounts, in the best shape of his life, and this has the look of Marc Gasol looking to see what his value monetarily really is…not just to Memphis, but to New York, and Los Angeles, and to other cities in the NBA willing to throw their hats into the ring for the versatile big man.”
7. Jared Sullinger of the Boston Celtics is in the best shape of his life:
8. Matt Barnes of the L.A. Clippers is in the best shape of his life:
9. Jabari Parker of the Milwaukee Bucks is in the best shape of his life (via ESPN):
“A source inside the Bucks said that Parker already has dropped 11 pounds this summer and is in the best shape of his life (before the draft, conditioning was one of the major concerns about Parker). He’s more explosive than we’ve seen him the past few years. The same source said that Parker has been absolutely dominant in informal scrimmages the Bucks have staged this summer in Milwaukee. He’s wowing people there.”
10. Shabazz Muhammed of the Minnesota Timberwolves is in the best shape of his life.
Shabazz says he’s down 20 pounds, to 225, says he’s in best shape of career
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) September 29, 2014
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