Sacramento Kings forward Skal Labissiere looks considerably more jacked than in the past. Hide your significant others, gentlemen.
A highlight video posted to Ball is Life’s YouTube channel showcased some private games hosted by Rico Hines, a current assistant coach with the NBA’s G League team, the Stockton Kings. The teams were star-studded with players such as Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, Buddy Hield, Denzel Valentine, Taurean Prince and several other NBA players being pitted against each other. There were also a handful of former Kentucky players who took the court.
Devin Booker, Julius Randle, and Labissiere were all participants in the private games. The thing that will pop out at you the most? Labissiere’s improved muscles.
Labissiere appears to have hit the weight room hard this offseason, looking like a completely different player with the beard to match. His highlights begin around the 4:29 mark (as do Booker and Randle’s) and he can be seen throwing down dunks, attacking the boards, and just being a much more physically imposing player than previously seen.
Also, I can’t help but notice the fact that Labissiere is trying his hardest to look like Anthony Davis. Although that’s not a bad player to try and mold yourself after.
Most of the 13-minute video consists of Taurean Prince and Kevin Durant exchanging jump shot after jump shot, but it’s some of the first video we have of Labissiere since the offseason began and it’s clear he’s been working hard on his body, something he has been criticized for since he was at Kentucky.
Through two less-than-ideal seasons with the Kings, Labissiere has averaged 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game with several stints in and out of the G League. While he’s shown flashes of being a potential role player in the NBA, he has never been consistent enough to be reliable (with some minor injuries sprinkled in) and his playing time has suffered because of it.
With how the Kings have spent their time and money this offseason (drafting Marvin Bagley III and signing Nemanja Bjelica, both big men) and their infatuation with Harry Giles III (another center), it’s good to see Labissiere investing time into his body in order to compete with what will be a cluttered Kings frontcourt. The third season for fringe NBA players can typically be a good indicator of whether or not they can make it in the league and Labissiere appears to be putting in the work to stand out this season and ensure he’s not on the outside looking in.
I mean, check out this video of him lifting weights in late July.
— Coach Shabazz (@Teamshabazz9) July 30, 2018
That’s a grown man. It’ll be exciting to see how it all pays off for him.