The second-year center out of North Carolina, Tyler Zeller, experienced a bout of the flu last season that saw him lose more weight than he was comfortable with on his slender 7-0 frame. So he did what any rational American would do: he binged on Krispy Kreme.
After his first regular season ended, the combination of the long season â€” Cavs fans are hoping it’s longer this coming year â€” and the flu had Zeller down to just 238 pounds. Looking to gain around 20 of those pounds back this summer, he tells the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Mary Schmitt Boyer he was scarfing as many as 10 Krispy Kreme donuts in one sitting.
The difference between Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller and most of the rest of us is that he actually wanted to gain 20 pounds on vacation.
How else to explain the 10 Krispy Kreme donuts in one sitting?
“They’re so good,” he said, unabashedly. “If you get them hot….”
Yeah, yeah. We know.
“I ate about six in probably 10 minutes, maybe less,” he said.
Zeller’s donut diet worked, but with an important proviso for all you lanky ballers out there: he was sluggish. After his summer of donut delights â€” and despite a fast metobolism â€” Zeller ballooned 20 pounds and was 8 pounds over his playing weight earlier his rookie year.
“I’m not going to say I was fat, but I felt very out of shape,” Zeller said after the donut bonanza. “I had to transfer that into ‘good’ weight and muscle. Now I’m between 255-260, and I’m pretty happy with that, although I’m trying to gain more.”
Zeller took over as the starting center for the Cavs last season when Anderson Varejao went down with a quad injury and later experienced a life-threatening blood clot. Zeller started 55 games in Varejao’s absence and performed admirably with the increased workload, though far from an every day starter on a playoff contending team as the Cavs envision themselves this season.
In 26.4 MPG in his rookie year, Zeller averaged 7.9 PPG and 5.7 RPG while shooting a less-than-stellar 43.8 percent from the field. This season Varejao is back and the Cavs have another injury-plagued center on the roster in Andrew Bynum. Both Varejao and Bynum possess brittle bodies with neither able to suit up for a full season over the last few years, and with Bynum missing all of last season in Philadelphia.
So Zeller should watch his caloric intake this year despite riding the bench as the third center on the depth chart. The Cavs may need a svelte Zeller in the season’s second half.
How many games will Zeller start with both Bynum and Varejao injured?
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