From the Daily News today comes a profile of Kristaps Porzingis’s flavorful “personal physician and trainer” Dr. Carlon Colker, who has no affiliation with the Knicks.
A former bodybuilder and MMA fighter, Colker is a small planet of muscle with a number of celebrities in his orbit, including Shaq, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Piven, Rampage Jackson, Andre Agassi, and Justin Bieber. His gravelly words move with the self-satisfied cadence of self-help; watch enough and you start to envision Steve Carell doubling his body weight and polishing his dome to play him in the biopic.
Kristaps and his brother-slash-agent Janis first sought out Colker’s services in 2016, after the Knicks’ future missed the last seven games of his rookie campaign with shoulder pain.
Porzingis’ older brother and agent, Janis, contacted Colker in hopes of finding answers that weren’t arriving elsewhere.
“That’s where I gained so much trust in him,” Kristaps says. “Nothing was working. The whole summer I was working out, I was doing my treatment, and it wasn’t helping.
“So he was the one that really fixed my shoulder.”
Colker advocates heavy rest for Porzingis, who has had trouble maintaining weight over 82 games and has historically wilted towards the end of each season. The doctor recommends a full day of recovery after each game, with no practice—“No, do nothing. Do nothing. Go play video games. Go eat. Go sleep,”—which seems like a wise enough prescription for a client of this build. There’s no reason for Kristaps Porzingis to play more than the 66 games he is currently on track to play, not this season, and perhaps not in any season, especially one where the postseason feels feasible.
Colker engineered (and is visible in) the off-season workouts that Kristaps entertainingly documented this summer to pack some necessary meat onto his frame and add lower-body strength. Colker, evidently never at a loss for words, offered these comments on Porzingis’s early struggles in the post:
“When KP first came to me, it was about a lot of injuries because of a disconnection. He stayed away from the basket, he shied away from the inside. For good reason. Because if he went inside to diversify his game, he would get banged up and hard ... Because KP’s body wasn’t ready. The physical language wasn’t there. The wires weren’t connected yet.”
And these on his own techniques:
“My perspectives are unusual,” he says. “My methods are novel and my techniques are unique. That doesn’t come without a price.
“When one lone beast raises his head to take stock of a situation, turns and goes a different direction, it draws the ire of the herd.”
On the ground:
“You have to feel the ground as an extension, as a force.”
On his role in Porzingis’s life:
Colker describes himself as “the mechanic,” and Janis as “the craftsman.”
“I’m the toolbox guy. I will make sure you have the best hammer in the drawer,” says Colker.
On abandoning the powerbase:
You don’t ever abandon your powerbase. You die in form.
Porzingis’s career-best third season might be an early testament to Colker’s methods, but there’s reason to be skeptical. If you’re heard of Colker before, and it wasn’t because Biebs credited him for his physique and Adderall-free lifestyle, perhaps it was because he slipped Jeremy Piven the doctor’s note to beg off a Broadway run, with that classic excuse of “mercury poisoning due to too much sushi.” Or because he allegedly produced fraudulent research to support the weight-loss supplement ephedra, which figured in the 2003 death of Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler and is now illegal. Per Gawker:
Oh yes, there’s more to him than gargantuan arms and a fame hungry heart. Back in 2004, Colker’s expertise was called into question when a class action lawsuit in California, against a company called Cytodyne, claimed that Colker’s trial results concerning a weight-loss aid called Xenadrine RFA-1 (which contained now-illegal ephedra) were suspect. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them $12.5 million, saying that Colker lacked credibility. Though, that same study was upheld in a Utah court. Forbes ran a story about the whole ephedra mess that year, and mentioned Colker’s involvement specifically. That earned them an angry and defensive letter from his attorney.
Colker was also named, in 2003, in three other lawsuits in West Virginia, Illinois, and Missouri for pushing a weight-loss supplement called Hydroxycut. The suits claimed that Colker’s various test results—culled from a study at his own Peak Wellness Center in Greenwich (there’s an outpost in Beverly Hills, too)—were falsified in an effort to hide the fact that ephedra can, you know, kill you and stuff. He was dropped from the lawsuit in Missouri, and later appointed a chairperson on the “Scientific Advisory Board” for a, you guessed it, dietary supplement company.
I have no doubt that Porzingis, an unusual physical specimen and player, requires unusual treatment. All I ask that is that you please do not use this 7-foot-3 generational talent as your guinea pig for your zaniest theories. The opposite of comfort can be found in this snippet from the NYDN story:
Colker, in a sitdown with the Daily News last month, peeled back the curtain on the methods – some of which he proudly acknowledges are controversial in his field