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Drill sergeant James

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When a 33-year-old forward with 43.830 minutes played starts 69 of 69 games in his 15th season in the NBA and says he never felt more physically dominant, it has to drive other players crazy, right?

Imagine you are an above-average NBA player. You play 70-75 games per season, a few rounds of the playoffs and you bust your ass in the off-season. There are injuries, fatigue and with time, you can feel the toll it has on your body. Then LeBron shows up with 7 straight Finals appearances in the last 7 seasons and at age 33 dunks on Jusuf Nurkić like he is 19. I’d lose my mind.

It has to be luck and good genes, right? It’s God-given. Maybe he truly is an alien.
Well, some of it is good genes, if you believe in God he may have something to do with it and on principle, we can’t be 100% sure he is not an alien.

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Then there is also the fact that he spends a seven-figure amount on his body every year. How does he do that? Get back to that “I’m a player” state of mind. So you build a gym in your home for extra workouts. You hire a trainer, personal chefs and masseuses to help you use it to the fullest. That has to be enough, right? You know what let's also buy a hyperbaric chamber next to that cold tub to speed up recovery and throw in private liquid nitrogen treatments. We good now, right?

Well, LeBron didn’t think so. A few seasons ago he started feeling his back act up and while you can’t outrun time, maybe you can hide from it for a bit longer. He decided to try and started working out with a former Navy SEAL. Donnie Raimon was a SEAL for 15 years and became an expert in biomechanics after suffering a severe neck injury during a parachute jump. When the doctors didn’t really know how to help him heal, he decided to help himself. Now he is helping LeBron continue to evolve and keep his body in peak physical condition.

Talent, good genes and divine intervention may be in play, but to be one of the greatest ever you need a lot of hard work and a team of people around you supporting you every step of the way. LeBron gets that and that’s what makes him so special. When asked to comment that dunk over Nurkić he said: “I knew it was gonna be a good one, gonna be shown for a long time. I was more excited to look over and see my teammates and how excited they were.” That’s what makes him one of the best. He puts in all that work and still knows there is no I in TEAM.

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