7 most shocking transformations in NBA history

Mary Raleigh
03/11/2023

NBA is not only a place to play and compete for the world’s top basketball talents, but also a perfect environment to help players develop both ability and appearance. Not many young athletes start with a “6-pack durian” body. Many people in the process of growing up in the NBA have had spectacular transformations, some have strong muscles, some have sought a more personal appearance.

1. LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers star is one of the top players in the NBA with 4 championships, 4 MVP titles and countless other achievements. But his success came at the cost of 18 years of growing up in the tournament.

While still sitting in the captain’s chair, he was ranked among the most promising young players in the NBA. However, it’s still a very different LeBron James. In high school, he had the measurements of a professional athlete such as weighing 108 kg and having an arm span of nearly 2m08.

  

A good physical foundation, passion and effort are the reasons why LeBron James has achieved his current titles

But his superstar status does not allow him to stop there. Since joining the NBA, the Lakers star has gained about 13 kg of muscle. At his peak, LeBron weighed about 113 kg with only 6-8% body fat. His strength dominated the NBA for a long time. Even now, at the age of 36, he is still the obsession of some players assigned to defend “King James”.

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At the age of 36, “King James” still maintains almost perfect body proportions

2. Giannis Antotekounmpo

Giannis is an indispensable name on this list because not only did he transform in appearance and playing style, but the life of the “Greek demigod” also changed completely after entering the NBA. In his rookie season, the Milwaukee Bucks star was still a boy with a baby face and a weak body. This may be the result of many years of making a living on the streets.

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The image of the “Greek demigod” when he first entered the NBA made many people unrecognizable

But luck finally smiled on the determination of the young man with a modest physique (height 2m06 and weight 86 kg) when he was selected by Milwaukee Bucks in the 15th pick. The success of the “Greek demigod” ” is to improve body shape in both weight and height, 109 kg and 2m11 are the current measurements. More and more, the 26-year-old player’s qualities are becoming more and more evident. Not only did he transform with a strong body like he came out of a myth, but he also gained more speed and strength.

Coming from a poor immigrant family in Greece, Giannis Antotekunmpo has been MVP for 2 consecutive years. Now, he is a true leader of the “War Deer Herd” and is facing the opportunity to repay his team by recreating the 1971 NBA championship. His willpower has changed the lives of not only you but also your family.

 

Giannis Antetokunmpo deserves the highest transformation on this list

3. Dennis Rodman

In the world, besides “Bad boy” Dennis Rodman, there is probably no one who is both a friend of US President Donald Trump and close friends with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Not only famous for his five championship rings and being enrolled in the “Naismith Hall of Fame”, the Chicago Bulls legend’s lifestyle has earned him the nickname “Crazy Guy” of the NBA.

Like Giannis, Dennis Rodman does not have the full background of an athlete. Instead, it was an unhappy childhood without the care of a father and at times almost went down a path of crime. Entering the NBA at the age of 25, the legend possesses an extremely modest height compared to other strikers, 2m01. In addition, due to psychological damage, he has a rather closed and timid personality.

The trade deal between the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs was the cause of Dennis Rodman’s suicide in 1993.

But at the end of his career, people were surprised to look back at the transformation of “Crazy Guy” with his superhuman rebounding ability, winning against opponents 10 or 20cm taller than him like Shaquille O’Neal. . In addition, the 60-year-old legend is also known as a defensive genius thanks to his gifted basketball mindset.

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The 60-year-old legend played a big part in the “3-peat” of the Chicago Bulls (1996-97-98)

However, along with improved performance comes a change in lifestyle and appearance. After his failed suicide attempt in 1993, Dennis Rodman seemed to have awakened. He chose a liberal, free lifestyle that was somewhat against the social standards of the time.

“The Worm” (another nickname for Dennis) often shows off strange personalities such as piercings, makeup, dyeing his hair in colorful colors, full body tattoos, and wearing clothes for the opposite sex. The Chicago Bulls legend also freely discussed his personal life, claiming to be a “sex addict” and likes to party like a star. He even wore a wedding dress and married himself in 1996.

The unique fashion sense of the Chicago Bulls legend

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His unique hairstyles were once a topic of debate in the basketball world

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“Crazy guy” never gives up parties. He is also famous for his flirtatiousness, having “spent the night” with about 20,000 girls, including the famous singer Madonna.

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Dennis Rodman married himself

4. Joel Embiid

If you stood opposite Joel Embiid in your teenage years, no one would have thought that the boy that year would one day become the top center in the contemporary NBA. At the age of 15, the Philadelphia 76er star began trying his hand at basketball. However, on the first day of practice, the coach did not accept him on the team because the young man at that time had too modest a build and his ball handling skills were still clumsy.

But Embiid still did not give up on basketball. His potential was discovered through a summer basketball camp in his hometown of Cameroon and gradually earned himself a ticket to the NBA in 2014. However, luck was not on the 27-year-old star’s side, causing him to Had to miss the entire first 2 seasons of his career due to injury.

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Joel Embiid’s journey from skinny boy to NBA superstar

The long period of recovery has given Joel Embiid careful preparation before debuting in the NBA audience. Besides treating injuries, the 76ers star also focuses on improving his fitness, strength and speed. He has gained more than 18 kg compared to the time he first entered the NBA.

The 2m13 center forward also learned how to take advantage of his physical strength and became the most effective pillar in the Philadelphia 76ers squad. Joel Embiid is a typical example of this team’s famous slogan: “Trust the Process”.

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The 27-year-old captain led the 76ers to the NBA Eastern semi-finals this year

5. Nikola Jokic

While most of the transformations in the NBA witnessed the process of “filling” bulging muscles from “malnourished” players, this season, the audience had the opportunity to look back at the “fat loss” process. ” by reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.

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The reigning MVP of the 2020-21 season has quite an interesting story before entering the NBA

He didn’t originally have a big NBA dream like many players, but fate brought Serbia’s “jewel” to one of the toughest tournaments on the planet. In fact, the Denver Nuggets star had no intention of joining the NBA, the fact that he was selected in the 41st round at the 2014 NBA Draft Pool was even cut from the live broadcast that day. Aware that he was just an unknown player in a foreign land, “Joker” tried his hand at the European basketball market but was rejected by Barcelona.

The shake of the Spanish professional basketball team forced him to enter the NBA and begin the process of being polished like a “rough diamond”. Nikola Jokic is a genuine “sweets addict”. In his rookie season, he was considered a slow player, overweight, weighing up to 129 kg, and always had trouble facing players with superior physiques and physiques.

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Childhood image of “Joker”, a boy addicted to sweets and overweight

However, after many seasons of training and a reasonable diet, “Joker” has lost more than 13 kg and this has helped him improve his ball handling ability and speed. Currently, the Serbian-born star is one of the most versatile centers in the NBA as he can both throw “clearance” passes, accurate throws, and can also control the trapezoidal area.

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Nikola Jokic is a comprehensive striker that every team wants to own

6. Steven Adams

The change in appearance of the New Orleans Pelicans player is likened to a transformation into a completely different person. Entering the 2012 tournament with a scholarly appearance, but after just one summer, his mustache made many spectators unable to recognize Steve Adams. Since then, he began pursuing the image of “Aquaman” with a majestic beard and “cool” full-sleeve tattoo.

In addition, he also increased a significant amount of muscle mass, making his body stronger. Thanks to that, this player’s playing style has changed somewhat. He becomes excited and often participates in situations that require strong contact. Despite his unique appearance and power-oriented playing style, those who come into contact with the 27-year-old player find him humorous and friendly.

Steven Adams 8 years ago seemed like a completely different person

7. Anthony Davis

The 2020 NBA champion is also on the list of “big men” whose physiques are not very impressive when they become “newcomers” in the NBA. Although he was selected in the first pick in 2012, Anthony Davis made many people skeptical when he had a rather lackluster performance and weighed 100 kg.

It is known that during her teenage years, the 28-year-old star went through puberty late compared to her peers. In addition, his playing environment in high school was not too outstanding in terms of sports movement, and did not even have enough facilities to develop basketball. It would seem that humble beginnings would prevent a skinny boy from achieving his NBA dream, but no, Anthony Davis did it.

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Anthony Davis was once a retarded boy

After his rookie season, the Lakers star was determined to prove his worth by training hard. Thanks to that, he transformed his mid-range shooting ability and completely changed the previous low assessment of his attacking skills. Improving his body shape to 115 kg and maintaining 10% body fat also helped him easily dominate the area under the basket.

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