After Jokić and Gasol, we also got skinny Melo. Players usually come back to a new season “in the best shape” of their lives. This time, it actually might be right. After his dramatic departure from Houston and not knowing if he’ll get another shot, Carmelo Anthony is determined to prove he still has a place in the NBA.
Most people think that place is at the power forward spot, and Melo accepted the new reality. His original goal was to drain three-pointers and not be a liability on defense. But, Carmelo didn’t “stay Melo” about this new path and worked hard to get back to the small forward position – great motivation to get in shape and be able to match up with some of the league’s best.
“Believe it or not, I only lost about 5 pounds. I think it’s [the weight] just redistributed. It’s body fat that’s cut. As far as my weight, I always fluctuate within three or four pounds.”Carmelo Anthony, ESPN
According to Melo, he gets in shape like this every summer, but we’re not there to notice. Following that logic, he gains some back before the season starts? Either way, Melo is ready to play at the 3 spot and be a lot more agile and quick on the court.
“I’ll be switching back to the three. I challenged myself to get down to that weight where I feel comfortable in playing the three, and comfortable running around and utilize the things I can utilize within that system. That was also a big motivation for me to come back at that exact weight. 230 – 235, something I haven’t seen since early in my career.”Carmelo Anthony, ESPN
So I guess he did lose a bit more weight than usual in the offseason. It’s funny how many times players try to convince everyone their weight loss is a yearly occurrence, and we are all just not noticing it. For all the challenges the Orlando bubble is presenting to players, many seem to have stepped up their game.
It probably has a galvanizing effect. Soccer fans will understand this – before every World Cup teams go on a six-week training camp and have a few exhibition games. Then they set up camp in an isolated hotel or retreat and travel to games. All in all, they spend a solid two months together in quarantine-like conditions. If they succeed in developing chemistry, those teams represent the competitive pinnacle for most players.
An “us against the world” sentiment is heightened, and the bond of going through a challenge like that is created. Everyone pushes each other to be better, and it results in tremendous achievements. Hopefully, the same will happen in Orlando this summer.