Kobe Bryant’s recent weight loss and desire to feel lighter has been in the news as of late, especially after mentioning that he lost five pounds after his season debut. Now, Bryant thinks that his teammate Pau Gasol, who’s listed at 250 pounds, could potentially benefit from losing a few pounds. After Lakers practice on Thursday, Bryant said that he actually suggested experimenting with weight loss to the Lakers seven-footer, after he’d realized that feeling lighter was an adjustment he needed in order to continue playing basketball at a high level into his mid-thirties.
Bryant said he recently had a “candid” conversation with Gasol about the Lakers center’s recent slump and offered this bit of advice.
“I told him I thought the thing that really helped me out is that I dropped some weight cause I felt like I was carrying around too much,” Bryant said openly before the Lakers hopped on a plane to Oklahoma City. “I told him he should probably measure it himself, and see if that’s something he needs to do as well.”
Bryant also clarified that these types of conversations with Gasol are common, as he considers Gasol like a brother to him, and there are plenty of times that Gasol brings “things to [his] attention.” In this case, Bryant feels Gasol is having some troubles moving around the court, and losing a few pounds could help out with that.
“When you get older, your metabolism just naturally slows, and you just quietly become a little more heavier, that might be something that he can do to help him move around on the court a little bit more. ”
There’s no debating Gasol’s decline, though in part to injury issues. Last season through 49 games (42 starts), Gasol averaged 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and shot 46% from the floor. This season, Gasol, who’s played and started in all 21 games this season, is averaging 14.4 ppg, 9 rebounds, and shooting a career-low 41% from the floor. His offensive rebounding (1.6 per game) is also at an all-time low.
Gasol has recently expressed frustrations with not getting the ball in the post, where he’s most effective, which he’s said has affected his aggressiveness. Friday, according to the L.A. Daily News, Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni responded back with, “It’s also a nice excuse not to play hard.” Whatever the case may be, with the unfortunate news of Steve Blake’s injury, Jordan Farmar and Steve Nash still out, the Lakers need championship-caliber Gasol back in action if they want to have any chance at coming out with a winning record on their tough four-game road trip.
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