Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 at 2:11 pm  |  54 responses

MuscleWatch 2009!!!

Fifteen pounds of MUSCLE!

by Lang Whitaker

Training camps officially begin today, which here on The Links means one thing and one thing only: MuscleWatch 2009™.

What is MuscleWatch™? Well, I started doing this here on SLAMonline about six years ago, but in actuality, MuscleWatch™ started in the fall of 1995. Matt Harpring was playing basketball at Georgia Tech and was heading into his sophomore season. Suddenly, there were a bevy of stories in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about how Harpring had spent the summer working out and had gained 15 pounds of muscle. My friend Matt and I thought it was strange that this was mentioned about two dozen times heading into the season, and even stranger that it was always mentioned as 15 pounds of muscle. Never 16, never 14, never 13, but always 15 pounds of muscle.

We took note of that, and suddenly we started seeing it everywhere: athletes from various sports all over the world were gaining 15 pounds of muscle. Once I started writing The Links, I noticed that magic “15 pounds” again showing up everywhere.

The suspicious thing to me is the number 15. Is that a target guys know they can reach? Is that just a good general number to throw out there? Is 15 impressive without being overwhelming?

I’ve done MuscleWatch™ long enough that many of you send me MuscleWatch™ emails completely unsolicited. For instance, just today, reader Garrett emailed:

“I was just watching a season preview on the Raptors on one of our sports channels (TheScore) and during an interview with Jay Triano, he was talking about how focused and involved Chris Bosh has been during the off season. And he also dropped the golden nugget that Bosh has gained 15 pounds of muscle. Boo yah.”

And yet now MuscleWatch™ is so much more — we’re not only looking for 15 pounds of muscle, but any extreme weight loss or gain. For instance, this morning in the NY Post, I read that Eddy Curry has lost 40 pounds (which puts him DOWN to 317 pounds).

But Linkstigator Ken Somolinos has been all over MuscleWatch™. Back in June he sent me a link about James Singleton putting on 10 pounds of muscle. I wrote Ken back and thanked him for the link and asked him to stay vigilant. He has, sending along all the following MuscleWatch™ links the last few weeks…

• Rudy Gay has allegedly added 20 pounds of muscle. (The article notes that this is in a bid to reach “one-name status” in the NBA. For his sake, hopefully that name is Rudy.)

• Caron Butler has lost 10 pounds this summer, though as Ken noted in his email, it doesn’t specify whether or not it was 10 ponds of muscle.

• Devin Harris is apparently 10-12 pounds heavier across the shoulders. This article ran a few weeks ago, so it’s possible Devin is now up to 15 pounds.

• Josh Smith lost 15 pounds, though he plans to put 5 back on. And in the same article, Mo Evans is vague about his MuscleWatch™ but says he plans to stay at a solid 220 all season.

• Andrei Kirilenko has added “nearly 20 pounds” this summer.

• Al Jefferson is in the running for MuscleWatch™ lifetime achievement award, having lost 30 pounds since last season. What’s shocking is that this is the second time in his young career that Jefferson has dropped 30 pounds.

• Tim Duncan, because he is a robot, has lost exactly 15 pounds.

• And Deron Williams put on 5 pounds. Not sure if I would have predicted that Deron would feel the need to *gain* weight, but he did.

I also did some googling today, and found plenty more for MuscleWatch™ from media days around the League:

• In Boston, Big Baby has lost 20-25 pounds and Kendrick Perkins has lost about 15 pounds. The Big Baby weight loss is interesting because despite losing 20-25 pounds, this “does not necessarily mean he is that much lighter than his 289-pound playing weight (listed anyway) last year because he has added muscle in its place. He credits some of it to mixed martial arts training that he has embraced after watching his girlfriend do it in Houston.”

Big Baby’s girlfriend does MMA training?

Also, Rajon Rondo has gained 11 pounds. Of fat? Nope. “All muscle, all muscle.”

• CJ Miles has added “at least 15 pounds of muscle.” There’s going to be a food shortage in Utah.

• Al Harrington has added 8 pounds of muscle.

• In Chicago, Joakim Noah has added 6 pounds of muscle, which must make him look like Lee Haney. The same story notes that Luol Deng has also added 10 pounds, though we don’t know if it’s muscle or not.

• Mike Beasley not only went to rehab, he went to work, adding 10 pounds of muscle.

That’s it for now, but don’t worry, MuscleWatch™ never stops! And as always, if you see a MuscleWatch™ alert, send it to me.

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  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    i repeat with equal astonishment: Big Baby’s girl does MMA training? No wonder he’s emotional.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Big Baby has a girlfriend? I didn’t know girls did MMA. Hmm…that may be something we need to keep an eye on.

  • TheGuyThatDoesTheThing

    It’s simply regaining weight lost during the regular season.

  • http://dfjklfl.com Jukai

    Damn, I looked at that person in the image and I thought Avery Johnson was pumping IRON

  • http://www.twitter.com/NotebookNick thesubwayconnection

    And of those 11 pounds, all of them are in Rondo’s shoulders.

  • vic21

    Sad to see KD didn’t gain pounds of muscle. If the guy added 25 pounds he would be unstoppable.

    In other news, Sean May added 15 pounds of fat. He wants everyone to start calling him Sean Wiggum

  • RedRum

    Lang, I will solve your mystery about the 15 pounds: it is the usual amount you put on with 2 month cycle on the juice…

  • Aewe

    time for the Jerome James watch…..

    no comment !

  • JB

    In talking about Big Baby, is “girlfriend” code for something else?

    Oh and Derron looks more slender, so maybe he lost some fat and turned it into muscle…otherwise not a good plan.

  • RedRum

    just to make it clearer: It is virtually impossible to add 15 pounds of just muscle without any enhancement, be it steroids, HGH or a precursor of either or both. Lets be serious…

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I’m 230 pounds of muscle. No juice.

  • http://www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    I wonder if these were incentives in any of these guys contracts.

  • Richie

    Just a thought but if a trainer records the body fat % of a player and finds that there is a decrease in that % while there is also weight gained, does that equal X lbs of muscle gained?

    Regardless, the fact that the media reports on this is awesomely hilarious especially in the contexts of Lang. Thanks Mr. Whitaker!

  • JoeMaMa

    The picture of Jerome James is scary big.
    That guy could live in a one bedroom apartment and take the bus to work and still be broke from his grocery bill.

  • andrew

    So D’Antoni thinks Gallinari’s a better shooter than Nash? Heh.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    If Rudy added 20 pounds of muscle he did it quick because when I interviewed him in July I sure as hell couldn’t tell he had put on any weight. Then again, I’m not a weight guessing carny so who knows?

  • Ronald

    Do u guys realize that Truehoop is basically taking credit for the discovery of the “15 pounds of muscle” mystery?

  • TADOne

    I just went to the bathroom and dropped 5 pounds.

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    Khloe Kardashian added 230 pounds of muscle

  • JoeMaMa

    Anton, the correct word is fatscle

  • tavoris

    this article is freaking hilarious

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Noah looks pretty ripped in Bryan Crawford’s article. But Rose also looked like he lost muscle…maybe 15 pounds of muscle?

  • IndyB

    Dont forget Josh McRoberts added an alleged 25 lbs of muscle before summer league even started.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I’m 170 pounds of 14 year old muscle. If you don’t believe me….then ask for proof.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Also, Sasha Vujacic dropped five pounds. He got a haircut and can finally get rid of the manband.

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  • http://www.DreAllDay.com Dre Baldwin

    Hold up — didn’t Josh Smith just *gain* 15 lbs last summer or summer before last???

  • SMK

    I totaled up the poundage and collectively the NBA is down 20 pounds this summer. Of course if Eddy Curry doesn’t play again, the NBA as a whole gained weight, which sounds weird to say but THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE.

  • http://www.garrettelliott.com Garrett

    Also, Pistons supersub Will Bynum lost 15 pounds this summer so he could be even quicker than he already is, which is not a good thing for opposing players.

  • ab_40

    carmelo anthony lost 15 pounds over the summer.

  • http://dfjklfl.com Jukai

    I’ve gained 15 pounds over the summer. Yep. Not muscle.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I lost about 10 pounds from not exercising for like 2 months. I kid you not.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Nah I’m just kidding.

  • MikeC.

    Note to all the skinny NBA players who need to gain weight. Come live with me during the offseason and I’ll show you how it’s done. The flip side is that you’ll probably have a heart attack or massive stroke when training camp opens. My beer and hotdogs diet is just that good. I was on it for months when I was in college. It’s taken almost a decade to shed that Curry-like flab.

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  • George B

    Baron Davis’ ass has gained 15 pounds of fat.

  • hillbilly

    Say what? The Amazing Rondo gained eleven pounds of muscle??? Doesn’t matter…dude can still hang glide on a Dorito. Go C’s!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Klav

    I actually lost 10 lbs. after I sprained my ankle this summer. No hoops = sadness. But the lost weight didn’t make me a better basketball player. FAIL.

  • vmcb

    Bosh does look to be quite a bit more muscular.

  • riggs

    “• Rudy Gay has allegedly added 20 pounds of muscle. (The article notes that this is in a bid to reach “one-name status” in the NBA. For his sake, hopefully that name is Rudy.)”


  • Rodger Bohn

    Haha, I love it Lang. Great stuff. This is always my favorite over-used claim of every hoops off-season!

  • Bishop1405

    “(The article notes that this is in a bid to reach “one-name status” in the NBA. For his sake, hopefully that name is Rudy.)”

    This almost made me cry! lol

  • maio

    ‘Rudy’ is taken by that guy in Portland who could use 15 pounds of muscle himself might I add.

  • newjersey devil

    gary trent shaq of the mac

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    I read that Baron Davis is in great shape, and my favorite quote of the week is from him, when asked how he got in such good shape: “Crack”. http://clipperblog.com/2009/09/28/notes-from-clippers-media-day/

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Steve Nash + 15 = 13 more MVP’s
    Rashard + 15 = Lifetime ban?
    Marion + 15 = Size 15 New Era fitted.

  • RedRum

    Seriously.. there is no way one can put 15 pounds of muscle in 2 months (without adding fat) without juice, HGH or the like…

  • http:///realcavsfans.com Anton

    MuscleWatch 2009 update: I saw Candace Parker in a tight top and gained 15 pounds of muscle in 5 seconds. However, a few minutes later I lost it all.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dave

    “It is virtually impossible to add 15 pounds of just muscle without any enhancement, be it steroids, HGH or a precursor of either or both. Lets be serious… ”
    Award winner of Most Outrageously Ignorant Post of the Week

  • Vikturus

    Article about Noah also tells us KD bulked up 12 pounds

  • Vikturus
  • RedRum


    I hope you see this post. yeah, I am ignorant, my best mate being in the nutrition staff for the British Olympic rowing team. There are no steroids in the NBA, sure… ask David Stern then why in order for the 1992 Dream Team to enter they were not tested under the IOC anti-doping rules, and it was a clause for the team to come to the Olympics.

  • RawDog

    Today on the NBA TV broadcast of the Jazz – Bulls preseason game, the announcer said Joakim Noah put on “10 to 15 pounds of muscle” over the summer… I immediately thought of this article and cracked up laughing.

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