One of the biggest criticisms of Carmelo Anthony — besides that he shoots too much, doesn’t play defense, is a coach-killer, ball-stopper and selfish, that he’s too focused on other things besides basketball and can’t make his game fit with other players — is that he’s constantly out of shape. Mike Woodson said it last season and he wasn’t the first, and Melo certainly didn’t help things by becoming the spokesman for chocolate milk, which I’m pretty sure people are already aware of.

But according to a man who’s been training Carmelo Anthony, Idan Ravin a.k.a. “The Hoops Whisperer,” it’s not that he’s fat, per se, it’s just that he wears a lot of stuff under his jersey. From ESPN:

Many of Melo’s toughest critics say that he’s not diligent and plays overweight, but Ravin downplayed that notion entirely. He said they’re missing something.

“You forget that under his jersey, he wears a lot of that compression-type stuff, and he wears a lot of that protection-type sleeves around his stomach, so it makes him look a little bit wider and thicker,” he said. “But he’s not a fat ass, man. He’s a world-class athlete, so he’s always very detailed with his diet, with his conditioning. Remember, too, the season’s long and it wears on you. Sometimes that’s where the fatigue sets in.”

Yeah, of course. This makes total sense. As Ravin says earlier in the piece, Carmelo’s lost 12 pounds since the end of the season, so obviously he was just wearing a bunch of protection sleeves on his stomach. 12 pounds worth of protection sleeves, apparently. Because that is what makes Carmelo Anthony’s jersey so tight. Same for Hedo Turkoglu, I’m sure.

Maybe I am being too much of a Doubting Treymas, but when your trainer has to go to the press to literally say “he’s not a fat ass,” then maybe you need to be more “detailed with [your] diet.” Not that protection sleeves around your stomach can’t add a little bulk — you can see the outlines of the built-in pads through Melo’s jersey — but c’mon. Enough bulk that a man you pay to keep you in shape has to explain that you actually aren’t super fat? I’m not so sure.

One solution, other than giving up chocolate milk and pizza, would be a baggier jersey. If Melo sizes up a bit, then he can wear as much “padding” as he wants underneath. Dropping a few pounds would work too, but this is way easier.

(via Posting and Toasting)