For most NBA players, the offseason is the best and probably the only, time to indulge in their favorite treats. Who wouldn’t do so if you are making millions every year? However, while it’s only proper to let yourself go for a short time, some NBA players seem to forget when to draw the line. In the process, they end up showing up to training camp out of shape. Or in simpler terms, fat!
On this list, we’ve decided to pick the six NBA stars who had their coaches shaking their heads in training camp after having a blast during the offseason.
6. James Harden
Though James Harden’s apparent weight gain generated quite a buzz in the NBA last year, the truth is, it wasn’t the first time “The Beard” looked bloated. For those who don’t know, Harden first showed up out of shape in training camp way back in 2012, shortly after he copped his gold medal in the Olympics.
It is believed that after winning the gold in London, Harden spent “a great deal of time relaxing continuously, with no momentary thoughts of honing his skills” and preparing for the new NBA season.
Still, Harden will always be remembered for the way he disrespected Rockets fans and the organization. He showed up completely out of shape, continuing to party (breaking NBA COVID rules), and blowing up their team to force a trade to Brooklyn.
5. Lamar Odom
Almost all die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fans know that Lamar Odom was once one of the key figures on the team that won back-to-back championships- in 2009 and 2010. However, things took a huge turn for L.O. when he left the Lakers for the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
In Dallas, Odom showed no signs of being a Sixth Man of the Year as he was reportedly in poor shape heading into his maiden season with the Mavs. And the reports happened to be true as Odom proved that he’s no longer the versatile combo-forward he once was, having dropped his averages from 14.4 points and 8.7 boards to 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per outing.
Aside from being out of shape, reports also stated that Odom seemed “disinterested” in basketball during his time with the Mavs, and he did so when he joined the Los Angeles Clippers the following season.
4. Eddy Curry
Throughout Eddy Curry’s NBA career, health issues have always been a concern. Besides a heart problem during his early years in the league, Curry also dealt with overweight issues.
In all fairness, Curry, though he was always the chunky type of big man, was a commendable basketball player. In fact, he logged his career-best averages in 2006 with the New York Knicks, having tallied 19.5 points and seven rebounds per game.
But right after that impressive season, Curry showed up in training camp the following season “tremendously overweight.”
It was noted in a previous article that Curry’s ideal weight should exceed 250 pounds. However, he was said to have ballooned to a whopping 400 pounds at the time.
In 2011, Curry was able to trim down to 295 pounds, and it is believed that it was the lightest he has been since 2007.
3. Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Wallace is one of the greatest power forwards in the game’s history. In fact, Andre Iguodala even thinks Sheed would still be a dominant player in this era. However, Wallace’s best years in the league ended in 2009, when he left the Detroit Pistons for the Boston Celtics.
At the time, Wallace was no longer the All-Star player that helped the Pistons win the chip against a star-studded Lakers team in 2004. So the C’s knew right away that Sheed would be playing the role of a backup big man for the entire season.
Seemingly aware, Wallace reportedly showed up fat, lazy, and indifferent to training camp. Stats back it up as Sheed recorded his lowest totals that year with 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 79 appearances for Boston.
2. Baron Davis
Once lauded by Dubs fans for spearheading the “We Believe” Golden State Warriors team, Baron Davis had always been stocky for a point guard. In fact, “B-Diddy” was already above the ideal weight of a playmaker, as 210 pounds were mostly shooting guards and small forward numbers.
Constant poor diet soon took a toll on Davis. And by 2010, he reportedly weighed about 260 pounds. Rumors swirled that Davis intentionally gained excess weight for $250K to become an effective spokesperson for Jenny Craig, an American weight loss and nutrition company.
1. Shawn Kemp
If there’s one thing we’ll always remember about the Reign Man aside from being a driving force in Seattle during the 90s, that would be his massive weight gain en route to his final years in the league.
After leaving the Sonics for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1997, Shawn Kemp was still one of the most prominent power forwards in the league, averaging 18.7 points and ten rebounds per game. He picked up where he left off in Cleveland as he put up very identical numbers in his debut season with the Cavs.
It’s safe to say, Kemp was still at his peak, and with enough star power, he could still help the Cavs win games. However, the lockout in 1998 changed all that. After a prolonged offseason, Reign Man arrived to training evidently overweight.
“He was really very honest about it,” former Cavs coach Mike Fratello recalled. “I said, ‘Shawn, how did this happen?’ He said, ‘Coach, I didn’t think we were coming back.’”
Since then, Kemp gradually gained excess weight, and by 2002, he was already far from the electrifying high-flyer he once was.
It’s the offseason once again, and hopefully, we won’t see another star player make it on our current list.