It's common knowledge that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is superhuman. Amid his team's mediocre season, James impressed fans with his athleticism and superior basketball IQ. It's astounding what he did at 37 years old — considered retirement age in most professional sports. One would assume that James started taking care of his body pretty early. But James admitted that in his first few years in the league, he had a diet not fit for an athlete and did not really train seriously.
No stretching, no ice
Upon stepping foot in the NBA, analysts praised James' combination of strength and speed. These seem God-given gifts that James honed by working out early in his career. But as it turns out, James got into a serious weight-training program when he was 24 years old or his sixth year in the league. In addition, his calorie intake consisted of burgers and fries from McDonald's.
"I ate McDonald's my first couple years in the NBA, I didn't stretch, I didn't ice, it didn't matter. I was 18, I could do whatever I wanted to," James said, per 62 CBS Detroit.
James shared the revelation in 2015, the first year of his second stint in Cleveland. Analysts were already amazed by his superhuman physique and his tank-like body that already set him apart from his colleagues.
Perhaps there might have been a tinge of regret from James fans. What if he started working out early? What if he hired a chef and a nutritionist right from the get-go? Could he have won his first title earlier?
High school life
For obvious reasons, we will never know the answer to those questions. But James, in an indirect way, had a reply. He admitted that he did minimum weight training back in high school. He was just a young lad harboring NBA dreams. Yes, his body was meant to battle with grown men. But he had a mind and heart of a kid.
"Yeah we did a little weight training, but I mean, you do so much in high school, weights [are] the last thing. I'm gonna be a kid," James said.
It's quite impressive that James relied on his God-given gifts in his first six years in the league. It's worth remembering that his first six years in the league included a trip to the NBA Finals, an MVP trophy, All-Star, All-NBA, All-Defensive Team selections, and multiple NBA records set or broken.
James has indeed gone a long way. He reportedly spends over $1 million per year on his body. A ludicrous amount, but every cent is definitely worth it amid James' longevity.
The numbers reveal that James is just 1,326 points away from surpassing Kareem-Abdul Jabbar on the all-time scoring list. This is a feasible endeavor, given that James scores around 1,100 to 2,400 points per season. Interestingly, his lowest scoring output was last season, as he recorded just 1,126 points. He also played just 45 games — another career-low.
That will be James' top priority, along with winning his fifth title. His mind is ready for it. Here's to hoping that the most athletic 37-year-old (who'll turn 38 next season) can endure another long and arduous season.