For as long as he's been a public figure, Glen 'Big Baby' Davis has been known mostly for the combination of his weight and basketball skill. As a college star at LSU, Davis won hearts and minds as a mobile, versatile player who just happened to be well over 300 pounds. With the Boston Celtics and now the Orlando Magic, Davis has proven that he can succeed at the highest level of basketball even if he's more than a smidge overweight.
However, Davis has also committed to improving his shape, to the point where he's now reached something of a milestone. Amazingly, he weighs the lightest he has since the eighth grade. From John Denton for Magic.com:
When Davis fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot last January on an innocent-looking play and subsequently had to endure two surgeries and 10 months of inactivity, he knew that he had to drop some weight off his massive 6-foot-9 frame if he was going to continue playing in the NBA. This wasn’t exactly an overnight revelation for Davis, who has always lived life as a big man and has been in pursuit of ways to shed pounds for years.
Fresh off a spectacular 33-point effort spread over 50 minutes Tuesday in Philadelphia, Davis will take the Madison Square Garden court Friday night as slim as he’s been in, well, almost a lifetime.
"Eighth grade. Yeah, really, it’s the lightest I’ve been since the eighth grade,’’ said Davis, seemingly shocked himself. ``This time it’s consistent (with the weight loss). There have been times when I’ve lost a lot of weight, but I’d just gain it right back. But as far as consistently staying at this weight and staying down, it’s been since the eighth grade when I was this thin.’’
Some people might not consider 300 pounds to be thin, but it is for Davis, who set that benchmark as a goal over the summer and has hovered around three bills for much of the past month of action with the Magic. When considering Davis’ size you must realize he was once banned from Pee Wee football as an elementary student because he was too big; he once pinned Shaquille O’Neal to the ground while playfully wrestling the superstar player when he was just 13 years old (more on that later); Davis once got as big as 370 pounds in high school when he was a three-sport star, including a tailback who scored five touchdowns; and he’s played much of his NBA career at 330-plus pounds. [...]
"First off, it’s a mental thing. And then it’s a lifestyle thing. You basically have to change your lifestyle and the way you’ve been living all your life,’’ Davis said. ``You have to change it up to break the cycle. But when you think about the process and think about what you are trying to accomplish, then it’s all worth it.’’
The full story has lots of information on Davis's efforts, which included a very brief dalliance with veganism. Although his current weight isn't exactly light, it's incredibly impressive that he was able to reform his manner of thinking about food. While this process will be ongoing, it's not crazy to think that he could drop more weight in coming seasons.
Whatever the case, Davis is a long way from looking like this, as he did for LSU during the 2005 NCAA Tournament:
For the record, the Magic officially list Davis at 289 pounds, which does not fit with Denton's report. Or maybe that's just the goal they've set for him to reach by the end of the season.
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