Gary Payton Shreds Anthony Bennett: 'You Came in Overweight, You Look Fat'

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2014

Gary Payton has a message for Anthony Bennett: Get to work.

Consider that the three-word synopsis of what Payton had to say about the No. 1 pick who is currently flaming out with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Consider it the much kinder version, too.

During a "Glove Actually" segment for Fox Sports Live, Payton went off on Bennett, openly criticizing his physique and work ethic.

"You came in overweight," Payton said. "You look fat."

Ouch. That seems harsh. And mean.

Payton maintained that wasn't his intention, though.

"I'm not trying to criticize you," Payton continued. "I'm telling you the truth."

If this is what Payton calls relaying the truth, I'd hate to see what his criticism actually sounds like. Not so sure his compliments would necessarily sound like praise, either.

Bennett has been aware of his weight issues since entering the NBA, prompting him to alter his diet in December, according to the Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd.

"I wasn’t really worried about my weight at all because I was still playing, still running up and down and I felt good," he said of changing his eating habits, per Lloyd. "But I felt like I needed to get back to my playing weight."

ESPN lists Bennett at 259 pounds, while Basketball-Reference profiles him at 240. Neither number is going to please Payton, who seemed furious at Bennett's lack of preparation for this season.

To be fair, Bennett was dealing with a shoulder injury early on. To be even more fair, he's halfway through his first NBA campaign and averaging just 2.4 points on 26.9 percent shooting.

Brash critiques like these are bound to spread like wildfire when he's been playing this bad for this long. Doubters will only be silenced if and when he starts playing better. Even then, there are no guarantees cracks about his weight cease as well.

"Get in shape. Get ready," Payton said. "You need to prove yourself."

Surly words, yes, but excellent advice for a player on track to become one of the worst No. 1 picks in NBA history.


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