Training camp, the infancy of another NBA season, is the perfect time for hyperbole. All players are in “the best shape of their careers.” Each team’s offense is the “greatest they’ve ever seen.” Guys joke around instead of yelling at each other for a missed defensive rotation. And Ben Simmons says he gained over 30 pounds of muscle.
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At Philadelphia 76ers media day, Simmons informed reporters that his weight has settled at 250 pounds. According to 76ers beat reporter Jessica Camerato, he weighed 217 pounds at the NBA Draft in June. That’s an additional 33 pounds that Simmons says he gained, which is a ton. Some players stroll into media day saying they dropped 12 pounds or gained 15, but gaining 33? That’s like adding a whole new body part. It’s a bold claim, so let’s do a little visual investigation, shall we?
Here’s Simmons in Cleveland during the NBA Finals last June, just before the NBA Draft.
And here’s Simmons at the first day of 76ers training camp. He certainly looks more defined in his arms, and perhaps his shoulders have broadened a bit, but 33 pounds heavier? That might be a stretch. We know Simmons spent lots of time in gym as he preapred for his NBA career, even going through a few workouts with LeBron James; but adding that much muscle in such a short amount of time would be beyond impressive.
We’re not the only ones who are skeptical about Simmons’s claim. His fellow Australian and good friend Dante Exum chimed in at Utah Jazz media day, and he doesn’t come off like a believer either.
Who knows how much weight Simmons really added? We should have a better idea of how swole he is when the regular season kicks off and he starts banging bodies with guys who are much bigger and stronger than he is.