Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has urged his teammate, power forward Pau Gasol, to lose weight to improve his flagging performance.
"I told him I thought the thing that really helped me out was I dropped some weight," Bryant, 35, told Lakers Nation. "I told him he should probably see if that's something he needs to do. As we get older, our metabolism slows. We quietly become a little heavy."
The 7-foot-tall Gasol listed his weight as 275 pounds at the beginning of the 2013-2014 NBA season, up 25 pounds from last year's weight of 250.
In the first 22 games of the current NBA season, Gasol has been averaging a lackluster 14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 blocks.
Interestingly, Gasol, 33, insisted he has been losing weight, saying he now weighs 259 pounds and has the best body-fat percentage of his NBA career.
Meanwhile, NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose and Ray Allen all recently switched to the gluten-free Paleo diet, insisting it has helped them improve their basketball games.
The Paleo eating plan emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, fats (including healthy saturated fats), vegetables and fruits, and excludes sugar, gluten, dairy, legumes, starches, alcohol and processed foods.
Allen has credited the Paleo diet for curbing his longtime sugar and carb addiction. "When you start eating the salads and the proteins and fruits, you just feel so much fresher and cleaner," said Ray.