Kobe Admits he “Needs to Drop a Little Weight”

Darius Soriano —  December 9, 2013

As we discussed last night, Kobe had an okay outing in his season debut showing flashes of the playmaking the Lakers need from him while also having several moments where he was sloppy with the ball and looked out of sorts with his decision making. This was to be expected as he seeks to regain the timing and game legs that will allow him to do more on the court.

The timing, of course, should come back with more game reps. It’s hard to go from practice to game action, especially after being out as long as Kobe has, and find your groove immediately. The activity players show in games and the quickness in how they move and react simply can’t be duplicated in practice — even in scrimmages.

The game legs, however, may be a different story. Kobe is attempting to come back from the type of lower leg injury that used to end players’ careers entirely. Medicine and training techniques have advanced so seeing him back on the court isn’t a surprise, but whether or not he can regain a level of explosiveness in his movement that comes close to approximating what he had pre-achilles tear is something we don’t yet know the answer to.

What may help Kobe get there, though, is dropping a few of the extra pounds he’s carrying around. Don’t take my word for it, however, take his:

When looking at Kobe last night, I must admit he did look a little bit bigger than normal. It was nothing outrageous, but it was noticeable.

At the Lakers’ official site, Kobe is listed at 205 pounds and while that’s probably not entirely accurate — player weights can fluctuate while players often get listed at the same weight from season to season even if that’s the case — the fact that he admitted to being a full 20 pounds over his listed playing weight should be a bit of a concern. Not a big one, but one that is worth noting as one of the factors that may contribute to how he’s able to perform physically — especially in areas that relate to quickness and agility.

It’s not like Kobe was awful in those areas last night. In fact, on several plays he looked just fine and after the game he noted how he was pleased with how he was able to get into the lane in his first game back. That said, he also noted that he could stand to lose a few pounds. I’m sure once the latter occurs, the former will get even better. All of this takes time, however.

How much, of course, remains one of the major keys to Kobe (and the Lakers’) season.

Darius Soriano

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50 responses to Kobe Admits he “Needs to Drop a Little Weight”

  1. Going forward, I’m very encouraged by the perimeter players the Lakers have assembled. The team needs much better production from its bigs, however. This is a team without any interior toughness. Regarding Kobe, I think that he should resist taking the long 2’s and 3’s and handling the ball so much until he gets his legs and timing back. It was great to see The Mamba on the court, and I feel that he still has a lot of high quality ball left in him. It’s just going to take a little time for him to regain his form.

  2. darius: lifting that wallet from kobe’s backside will do wonders to eliminate some of the excess weight he’s been carrying a round………these are jokes. just had to put that out there. it had to be said, someone had to say it. kobe knows many are thinking the same thing. and that will be the latest impetus to drive him to the next level; he said as much. for kobe, it’s a given and the pounds will melt before our eyes.

    m & m peanuts is a personal favorite.

    Go lakers

  3. Ha, I remember Kareem’s official weight was always announced as 7′ 2”, 267 lbs throughout the 1980s.

    Kobe looked a little thick, but his main issue was just getting used to the full speed of the game. That will come with more game time, and I imagine weight loss will just come naturally.

  4. the other Stephen December 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Perhaps as another indication of how dysfunctional last year’s team was, Steve Clifford has had great success implementing a top defense in Charlotte this year. I know part of it is personnel, and part of it is also that Charlotte has traditionally been a plus defensive team, but to see that he had good ideas, but little of the results and execution show up in the Lakers’ play last year is a pity.


  5. Watching him last night, I thought Kobe looked bigger but couldn’t tell if the weight was more of the turkey stuffing sort of weight or the protein shake kind. Either way, I remember Kobe having 15 or so extra pounds of muscle in 2003 and that led to some injuries then. As we get older, it’s smart to lean up and I have no doubt that Kobe will pull that off.

    Anybody who thinks they know what Kobe will be over the course of the rest of his career, especially off of last night’s performance, is going to be battling confirmation bias. The only thing we know, Kobe isn’t done and he’ll not ever blow by people, explode, hang and then hammer a reverse layup like he used to when he was 27. In April I said, if Kobe comes back as a rich man’s, Bulls era, Ron Harper I will be very happy. I want to see him control the offense during crunch-time, make good reads and take what the defense gives his team. Unlike last year, Kobe has 4 or 5 guys on the team who are more athletic than him, are working hard, and playing the system. Beyond that, there is no reason for Steve Blake not to lead the offense. He has proven the ability to make the team function as a whole. The team should use that.

    Finally, it is my opinion that guys like Wes Johnson, Xaviar Henry and Nick Young are very valuable for their ability to harass their assignment. Wes, in particular, is very good at digging in for a steal or rotating from the weak side to help a big who has contained his assignment. He does all this while maintaining his ability to recover back to him man. He is very quick and long and is learning how to effect the game on the defensive end. He is no Scottie Pippin, but there is something of that mold that formed him. Guys like him are going to be immeasurably valuable for Kobe to have on the court with him, as he is no longer a guy I trust to consistently play good defense. Kobe doesn’t lack interest, like James Harden, but he hasn’t had a stopper’s ability for a few years now. He needs help. That help will come with more consistency if guys feel they are part of the unit on both sides of the ball. I’m just not a fan of guys standing around and watching Kobe and one teammate play the pick and roll, or for them to clear the top for an iso. It has been fun to watch the ball and player movement we’ve been seeing from the team. Here is hoping Kobe has enjoyed that as well. The effort he made moving the ball, too much of which wound up as turn overs, seems like a sign of that willingness. I’m looking forward to finding out.

  6. Clips sign Stephen Jackson.

    Lakes sign new cheerleader.

  7. Steve Nash‘s tenure with the Lakers hasn’t gone nearly as he expected it to, but recently he batted down a rumor that the nerve root irritation in his back was prompting him to consider retirement. Now Nash says he isn’t ruling out the possibility that his career is over, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News observes.

  8. Kobe goes to Germany to see a doctor with “special” techniques…..comes back 20 LBS heavier…and this is after working hard for the last few months…running….exercising(without running) running in practices….Kobe’s last few months ,he has been training hard…was he even more over weight?? Sorry…Gotta ask…….How does a player who is so in tuned with his body and is always in shape….gain at least 20 LBS in 8 months…

  9. Agreed with regard to the weight Darius. I mentioned KB’s weight in the last thread, and after thinking of it a little more, it concerns me. He is 225 vs. 205 in the prior program. Let’s say the program is off by 5 – so that is 20 over. And the man is coming off a serious injury to his Achilles, recent Knee surgeries, and numerous ankle issues. Don’t these injuries demand less weight not more? Also – he is not getting any younger, so quickness is a premium. I have “faith” in Kobe (due to his track record), but this seems odd. Everyone said he worked extremely hard, but ooops – he gained 20 pounds eating bon bons while watching game film? Seriously is anyone advising this guy or does Kobe just make a decision to allow himself to gain weight, and everyone around him just says “sounds good Kobe – it will make you a beast on the boards”. What was the plan here? Did we really need a game to see that gaining 20 pounds was not the right move?
    And no – I am not one of those over-reacting to one game. Kobe is going to be Kobe – but this was simply not smart.

  10. Last thread I agreed with Craig W about the team, and in the last two threads I have agreed with gene and Sid about Kobe. Not sure what that all means. Like Kobe’s weight however – it concerns me : )

  11. Lakers FO are feeding Kobe mania “Icon” ,”fans worried about Kobe being a free agent”, “fans happy Koke is locked up”s for a profit. Lakers fans concerned about the team? We are stuck discussing Kobe’s weight rather than do the Lakers have a better chance to win games with Kobe on the active roster?

    Last friday’s game against Sacramento is an example.

    Would Lakers have beaten the Kings in Sactown had Kobe played?

    Lakers FO says Henry, Meeks, Johnson, or Young …. somebody sits
    because people pay to see Kobe.

    FO says Kobe eats first.
    MDA got the memo.

    Last nite Henry sat.

  12. Kobe didn’t necessarily gain 20lbs in 8 months. He increased his weight a couple of years ago, then reduced it again. 205 is a listed weight and – as noted above – isn’t particularly accurate. Remember Kobe’s metabolism was based on staying in professional shape and he wasn’t there for much of the last 8 months. Exactly why is this such an issue? We seem to be grabbing at whatever will support some opinion we have. Perhaps we should all just see how this turns out.

  13. Its also worth noting that for a person of Kobe’s height, age and athleticism, 225 is not overweight. Also, there is no way a player comes back from an 8 month period where he has to stay off his feet without some added weight. The fact that he is at 225, looking “heavier” but not “fat and out of shape” is a testament to how much this guy takes care of himself.

    This is isnt Shaq guys. He is not eating bon bons at home watching comedy specials. This is a guy who is back to playing professionally months ahead of schedule. Sure, he is not 100% physically and his conditioning is probably not 100% either, but c’mon, the GUY CAME BACK MONTHS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. Are we really that impatient?

  14. gene’s question: “How does a player who is so in tuned with his body and is always in shape….gain at least 20 LBS in 8 months…” Seriously – how? – I for one am befuddled.
    “Exactly why is this such an issue?” Perhaps because Kobe himself now thinks it is an issue? What are you saying that he should just keep the weight on? This thread is titled “Kobe Admits he “Needs to Drop a Little Weight” By definition – this is an issue. And I do not need to see how this one is going to turn out. He will lose the weight, but of course back to gene’s question and mine “What was the plan here?” Maybe my bon bons theory is not so far fetched and there was no plan. He is “human” after all.

  15. gene, he gains it because an achilles injury means you can’t run or do any other effective weight-maintanance type work out for about 5 months. Remember in late September, while the Lakers were in China, it was big news that Kobe was doing wind sprints? Then he had to scale back his workouts. I know you want actual evidence that Kobe is going to Germany for steroid treatments (even though the most advanced steroid regiments are developed in the US, but whatevs), and though you base your theory on… uhm, a gut feeling? instead of actual science based evidence, I’m wondering how long it’ll take you to move from this bit of circumstantial evidence to another set of the same to continue making your baseless accusations. I just want you to know, one can’t cut themselves on Occam’s Razor. Feel free to use it.

  16. Exactly why is this such an issue?

    You presumably know this already, but gene is making a veiled accusation that KB is using PEDs.

  17. Oh boy!
    I guess anything is possible. But it does seem to me that we are still trying to fit preconceptions into the situation, rather than simply wait out the facts and then make a judgement.

  18. This the price you pay when you always eat first.

  19. There was a comment about MDA saying they lost this battle but its better for the bigger picture. This is what Phil would have done. Sacrifice a (winnable) game where 2 opponents are having a field day while we have one of our worst performances of the season.

    Gasol stunk. Blake stunk; Hill stunk early, redeemed himself late; Sacre stunk. Wes Johnson stunk; Kobe stunk.

    All in all, this game was led by Nick Young’s firepower and Xavier Henry’s aggression attacking the paint. All else was a fail. Even Meeks who could’ve just deferred to Pau for that gimme.

  20. Kobe was doing wind sprints in late Sept….it is now December and Kobe is still 20 LBS overweight…Something doenst add up…This is Kobe…wouldnt excersing since Sept help by now???

  21. melcountscounts December 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Last night wouldn’t have been so bad without the huge buildup regarding Kobe’s return. A two minute video, really? Free Chris Kaman.

  22. The link that someone posted in the last thread of Steve Blake being interviewed after the game was very telling. It’s quite obvious that he was pissed off. Could the anger stem from the fact that they lost? Or could it be because the ball was taken out of his hands due to Kobe’s return? Possibly a combination of both. Definitely something that I’ll be keeping my eye on.

    As for Kobe, the steroid rumors are nothing new. As a matter of fact, Gene isn’t the first individual within the FB&G Community to insinuate that Kobe has been using PED’s. And he won’t be the last. While I didn’t like what I saw from Kobe last night, obviously, it’s too early to judge him. I’ll give him a month – which still might be too soon – and then re-evaluate him.

  23. lil pau: Now that is funny.
    MannyP: “Are we really that impatient?” Yes : )

  24. Since the bigs all played horribly the last few days, why not let Kaman play? What is Kaman’s weakness that MDA refuses to play him? I recall he was one of the better offensive and defensive bigs we have when he was playing.

  25. Best case: He’s a little heavy, out of shape, and his timing was off. Which is why a ball was blocked into his face near the end of the first quarter, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen happen to Kobe.

    Worst case: Two years and $48.5 million of this.

    If you were to plot these two outcomes on a line, I’m 80% of the way to “best case”, but ask me again in a month.

    (the tone of this post in my head is “optimistic but facing reality”; the bare text looks a little gloomy)

  26. hopefully Kobe will round into form soon. the real story for me is Pau’s severe regression. whether it is injury or age, he has to sit out or at least come off the bench. since his salary and play make it nearly impossible to trade him, MDA cannot continue to allow his horrible, lackadaisical play put the team in huge holes at the beginning of each half.

  27. Casual Fan,

    You’ve hit on an important topic (more important than Kobe’s weight because he’ll trim down in 2 weeks)–where in the world is Chris Kaman?

    As I stated in the previous post, Kaman, for some reason, seems to have been exiled to Siberia. Surely his back isn’t that bad. This is someone, after all, who was going to play an important role on this team.

    The question has got to be asked of D’Antoni. Why is he playing Sean Williams and not Kaman? Why does Gasol go 3-11 and allow Amir Johnson to go for 32 (Amir Johnson?!?) while Kaman remains in solitary confinement?

    I like the way MDA has been utilizing his wings. But I don’t much care for his use of the bigs. Jordan Hill, who seems to be over his ankle injury, should consistently play 20-24 minutes (no more than that or else he’ll kill himself). Kaman should also play–probably the same number of minutes. I really think that would help.

    Is this so hard to figure out?

  28. I’ve seen young 18 year old rail-thin basketball players gain 20-30 lbs, 8 months after graduating high school. Not because they’ve sat around eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, rather because they’re metabolism slows due to not playing. Is it any wonder that a 35 year old Kobe with an injury gained 20 lbs?

    Another problem that many basketball players have, is that once they gain the weight it is difficult to shed. While I doubt that this’ll be a problem for Kobe since he can afford a chef to cook his meals at home and follow him on the road, it necessary.

    BTW, Kobe looked fine and has stated many times that he’ll figure out how to be effective in the game. He’ll adapt his game to his new/old body just so he can do in history as a player that reinvented himself post-Achilles heels surgery.

    Funny thing, a mere month ago many on this board thought Xavier was not even an NBA player, fast-forward to one night when he scored 17 points and he’s the Lakers savior…again. I guess the memory of him scoring double digit points in pre-season and then falling into an abyss for several games after that have vanished. While I enjoy Henry’s game, he could have just as well played in the 4th quarter, with the Raptor’s walling him off a path to the bucket where he could easily turn the ball over because you know he doesn’t pass and he is not adept as an outside shooter, yet.

    Let’s not forget the Lakers were supposed to be about 3-17 at this juncture in the season.

    This team is going to be fun to watch!! Just watch.

  29. Kaman supposedly has back problems. Could he play through them? Well, you only have to look at Steve Nash to see what back problems can do – and Kaman plays down where the refs don’t call all the banging. Unless there is some inside knowledge that MDA is simply sitting a healthy Kaman for no particular reason, I suggest we look at the box scores and note that it is Back Spasms and not DNP – Coaches Decision.

  30. Kamen is practicing everyday. Something happened between him and MD. Lakers trying to trade him soon.

  31. Lowery=Nash

  32. Funny thing, a mere month ago many on this board thought Xavier was not even an NBA player,

    His stats going into the season indicated as much, and Darius said that he thought that Henry probably would not make the team. Henry has made a conscious change to his game, by deciding to drive to the basket more or less every time he gets the ball. Between that and hitting 3s, he now appears to be an NBA player. His 3p% is .471, and he is getting to the line 7 times/36 minutes. That is enough to make him a valuable bench guy at this point, even though he doesn’t do much else.

  33. Let’s not forget the Lakers were supposed to be about 3-17 at this juncture in the season.

    A few people have overstated this point, perhaps in the need to pile on the I-told-you-sos. The prevailing view was that this was/is a 35-win team. The team/fanbase in the West that actually has cause to make these kinds of statements about how bad they were supposed to be etc. is the team that the Lakers play tomorrow night.

  34. But it does seem to me that we are still trying to fit preconceptions into the situation, rather than simply wait out the facts and then make a judgement.

    I certainly agree with this. It was one game after a long layoff. I do have some opinions about how MDA should use KB, but I want to see a little more court time first.

  35. Anonymous,
    Why would the Lakers list his status as Back Strain if it is verifyably not true? If all that really is true it would be interesting to find out exactly what happened between Kaman and MDA that would cause the club to allow a player who could help them win simply sit on the bench.

    That reminds me of why I learned to truly hate the Raiders. Al Davis (the owner) sat an all-star running back (Marcus Allen) for two years during his prime because he didn’t like him asking for so much money. It resulted in the courts forcing Mr. Davis to release Marcus and limited the other NFL owners in what they could do to retain players, i.e. the Curt Flood situation in the NFL. In any case, I always rooted against the Raiders until Al Davis died and can’t dredge up much sympathy for them even today.

    If the Lakers did that to Kaman, my fandom would be severely tested.

  36. Some people on this board crack me up and the really scary thing is that Robert actually bought into some of it?! Wow. Here is a link to a rehab schedule for a torn achilles.

    Now, you take a guy who not only works out every day- insanely- but also plays a ton of basketball and does an incredible amount of cardio. You take this guy and basically tell him he can’t do anything for 2 months except upper body training. Then it’s light exercise on a bike or stairmaster or zero gravity treadmill. Then you have everyone telling him that he can’t push himself too hard or he may re-injure the achilles.

    Finally 4 months into rehab the guy can begin to attempt the same sports movements that he was previously. And some are “mock surprised” that he has gained weight? I could gain 20lbs in one month easily…. and that’s not going from burning 5-7k calories a day, like Kobe does, to almost nothing. Great point by P. Ami, by the way, because if Kobe were going to get PEDs, then he would just stay here in the states like some others that I could mention.

    Same ole’ guys saying the same ole’ stuff.

  37. By the way, even IF Kobe’s weight gain is a result of side effects from drugs such as steroids, remember that steroids are not illegal or banned by the NBA for medical reasons – albeit such reasons would have to be pretty specific and pretty darn good. I would expect Kobe to be given some type of drug regimen to prevent muscle wasting an assist in recovery.

    But the more likely reason for the added weight is probably the simplest answer: dude had limited mobility for several months and couldn’t run or swim to supplement his cardio.

  38. people talk as if MDA holds vendettas against players. IMO this is ridiculous. Kaman is reported as having back spasms. as someone who has experienced such a condition it takes time before athletic activity is possible. plus Kaman sucks.

  39. Craig W,
    What a waste it was to see the great Marcus Allen being benched. Used to love watching his big cat-like moves; smooth as silk gettting through the line.
    MD´A .
    Give Kaman A Chance (war is over, if you want it!)

  40. KenOak: Fair enough – I said it concerned me – that I agreed with some of this too : ) I did agree with the question, but I never agreed with the implied answer. Let me put it this way – If the “plan” was to gain 20 pounds – that was a bad plan. If there was no plan – then I am surprised Kobe allowed this to happen. Yes – I know – he was injured – he is human. I am still surprised. And I blame some of this on his advisors (like Gary Viti et al).
    Kobe: He will drop the weight and we do need to give this way more than one game to see where he is at.
    Kaman: I know some think this is all due to injury and others think it is all due to MD. I think it is a little of both. He probably has 1 foot in the dog house and one in the whirlpool. MD’s dog house seems to always have big men in it. Last year it was Pau and Hill This year Kaman.

  41. Wow the level of overreaction and guessing and even acusations here is beyond belief. People tend to be heavier as they get older and is harder to shed the weigh and Kobe could not do the kind of workouts he used to do when healthy. You know how those pounds come off? Playing and in practice!!! Some people here are just ridiculous. Its only one game back fellas.

  42. As usual, we are grabbing at issues short term that help support our long term fears. While this is certainly human, it also doesn’t really answer any questions.

  43. Fern: That is my problem – I refuse to think of Kobe as “old”. It took me a couple years to get used to the shaved head, the art, and the #24. I still envision the mini-fro and when I see his number I multiply two * four and get 8 !

  44. robert: i’ve also been told i have a overdeveloped imagination….

    shall we change kaman’s name to peace?

    this just in: kobe lost 8 ozs……been seen coming out of the men’s room.

    Go lakers

  45. Lol Robert, that is now vintage Kobe. Great times great performances from the best player on the planet . Now we have “Vino” Kobe. Im not concerned about him, i know he will find a way, he had the right idea Sunday but the rust muck everything. Even if he is back on the court i read it takes close to a year to be able to be close to be all the way back from it, so im not expecting any 35 points performances anytime soon. I think he will be defering a lot for the time being.

  46. Kobe could have taken another 3-4 weeks of hard training to drop his weight and then that Toronto Death Star implosion wouldn’t have occurred which would have pushed back his opportunity to sync with his teammates, get his timing and game legs together (which will not be overnight either). Playing in games and his workout regime will get his wind back quicker and cut his weight down. Too many August cupcakes at his daughter’s tea party.

    Lil’ Pau: Great line.

  47. Starters announced: Blake, Meeks, Kobe, Williams, Pau

    I expect kobe pau PnR with lots of 3pt shootng around them and then let the bench do their thing.

    Overall I think we are underestimating the loss of Farmar —- we will be yet again a different team once he gets back from injury.

  48. gene, I was wrong, the China trip was October. That said, it takes time to drop weight. After the 2002-03 season, Kobe has made a concerted effort not to bulk up too much. He blamed his injury troubles of 02-03 on the muscle he put on. Whether Kobe uses PEDs, at times, to help with recover from games, I can’t say and frankly don’t care. From talking to folks who have relationships with him, it is my view that Kobe does not like to have bulk. He likes to keep long, lean muscles that are flexible and don’t strain the joints the way bulky swollen muscles do. Frankly, w/o evidence, the conversation is just rumor swilling.

    Farmar is a big part of what the team does. Even if Nash is never really back from his injuries, I think the team is going to do pretty well in the regular season. Playoffs, where rotations shorten, may be a different story. I’m just going to enjoy this fun team.

  49. Yes, the last 82games.com report had farmar with the best on court off court differential at +14. The team was +6.2 pts per game when he’s on the court and was -8.5 pts per game when he was off the court.

    Overall they had him in the top 20. Granted he is not playing starters minutes so take those numbers with a grain of salt. But even by the eye test Farmar was playing very well.

  50. I remember Kobe tweeting once he lost 5 pounds in one day …… so i guess this process will take about four days o.O m(maybe/maybe not)