PORTLAND, Ore. — The Utah Jazz have talked about how hard they hit the weight room and gym during the extended offseason.
The poor team scale noticed.
Tires on the team bus, be warned. Turns out, Jazz players packed on extra weight with all of that extra work.
Official player weights have been released, and the 13 Jazz athletes with guaranteed contracts for the 2011-12 season gained a combined 27 pounds since their last weigh-ins last year.
"I guess I got to ask who gained weight," joked Jazz small forward C.J. Miles, who reported back slimmer than he's been in years.
Before referencing Karl Malone's famous comment about Greg Ostertag's camp shape (extra round in the rear), consider that the tale from the scale is a bit deceiving.
The players, of course, claim the extra poundage is muscle.
And not table muscle as many people would have expected NBA athletes to gain with so much off time this summer and fall.
"Nobody wanted the extra time, but we used it the way it was supposed to be used," Miles said. "Guys worked and were ready to come back, and we're ready to play."
Al Jefferson flexed his right bicep when asked about his reported weight of 289, up from 280 last season.
The 6-foot-10 center spent most of the summer dedicated to improving his fitness, strength and skills at a Jazz-recommended training facility in Santa Barbara, Calif.
"They told me muscle weighed more than fat," Jefferson said, smiling. "I look a lot better, a lot slimmer. Everybody think I'm 270, really. ... If I'm moving faster, jumping higher at 289, I'm cool. I love it."
Jefferson tied for a team-high 9-pound weight gain with rookie Alec Burks, who also hammered iron in the summer. The Jazz list the 6-6 guard at 202 pounds after he weighed 193 at Colorado.
Other beefier Jazz players include rookie Enes Kanter (plus eight), Raja Bell and Earl Watson (plus four), Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap (plus three), and Derrick Favors and Devin Harris (plus two).
Josh Howard remained at 210 pounds.
Miles was the team's biggest loser — in a weight-loss sense, of course. He dropped 10 pounds, going from 232 to a trim 222.
Mehmet Okur (minus five) and Jeremy Evans (minus two) were the only other Jazz players who are lighter than last year.
The scale isn't the only measuring tool the Jazz use to verify and monitor physical fitness changes. The team makes players take underwater body composition tests. Those tests, which are still being taken, aren't made public.
"Appearance wise," Jazz head athletic trainer Gary Briggs said, "they all came in pretty good shape."
It's paid off in camp, their coach believes.
The Jazz had better practices and are more prepared for the upcoming rigorous schedule because of their dedication, Tyrone Corbin said. He was able to push them harder and faster without worrying about injuries.4 comments on this story
"We went a little more, we could do a little more," Corbin said. "It allowed us to speed up a little bit more than we thought we could originally."
Jazz tales from the scales
Player, 2011 weight, difference
Al Jefferson 289 +9
Alec Burks 202 +9
Enes Kanter 267 +8
Raja Bell 210 +4
Earl Watson 199 +4
Gordon Hayward 210 +3
Paul Millsap 253 +3
Derrick Favors 248 +2
Devin Harris 192 +2
Josh Howard 210 Same
Jeremy Evans 194 -2
Mehmet Okur 260 -5
C.J. Miles 222 -10
Team 2,956 +27
*Weights of 13 players with guaranteed contracts