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Charlie Villanueva comments on FIBA report about his conditioning

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News had this note in his story about Charlie Villanueva getting cut from the Dominican National Team:

Villanueva never was in camp with the team this summer, contrary to the FIBA.com report that said he had a private workout with the team in New York.

It’s believed the team wasn’t pleased with his conditioning last summer, which led to the decision, after being a big part of the national team in recent years. An ankle injury slowed his progress and any hopes of getting much playing time for the Pistons this season.

That’s a significant point if there was no workout, though I don’t know what incentive FIBA would have to lie about that. And I haven’t yet seen any clarification from Calipari, saying his quote was out of context and referencing last year, not a private workout this year, as the FIBA story alluded. Goodwill wasn’t the only one who weighed in, however. So did Villanueva. Literally. Via his Twitter:

In his article, Goodwill also said that, “Villanueva posted a picture on Twitter (lockerz.com/s/216607888) of him stepping on a weight scale, showing he’s at 243.5 pounds, at least 10 pounds less than his playing weight of 255 pounds.” Not sure why 255 is considered his ‘playing weight’ though. ESPN and Yahoo! both list Villanueva at 232. So does Pistons.com. Now, maybe his listed weight for last year wasn’t accurate. Teams certainly take creative license with players’ weights and heights all the time, and the Pistons would probably have some incentive to list Villanueva at a lighter weight than he’s actually played at, but the point is, when your publicly listed weight is 232, a scale showing you weighing in at 243.5 definitively doesn’t represent conclusive evidence that FIBA’s report was way off.

Villanueva continued:

Villanueva has been tweeting a lot about all of the working out he’s doing this offseason. Again, this is a good thing. But the problem is we’ve heard stories before about Villanueva committing himself in the offseason, and it has yet to pay off on the court for Detroit. It’s good for Villanueva and good for the Pistons if he’s taking his conditioning seriously. But the days of fans being satisfied by offseason talk about it are long, long gone. The only thing that will eliminate fan cynicism about Villanueva is if he becomes a consistent, reliable player on the court next season. Workouts are nice, but the only thing that will eliminate doubts is legitimate production. Even minimal production, which would be far, far better than what he contributed last season.

Incidentally, Eric Freeman at Yahoo! did raise a point worth mentioning:

The answer is probably a fairly dull one: that Villanueva, in any shape, just isn’t a good fit for the run-and-gun system that Cal is known for. When he’s at his best, Villanueva is still a very deliberate player. Calipari wants to run, and there’s no room for big guys who can’t keep up (Al Horford, for example, is doing just fine). Even at many pounds below his usual playing weight, CV just isn’t the right guy for the system.

That’s fair, too. As a NBA player for the Dominican team, cutting Villanueva was probably not the best P.R. move. So maybe Calipari floating out there that Villanueva was out of shape was an easy way to both rid a popular player who doesn’t fit the style of play from the roster and make this all seem like Villanueva’s fault. It would be more plausible and believable if talk about conditioning and being in shape weren’t a seemingly constant issue during Villanueva’s Detroit tenure.

Villanueva one more time:

Done and done.

Tags: Charlie Villanueva

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