LeBron James’ unexpected offseason transformation, per Lakers GM Rob Pelinka
Offseason transformations have become the norm for players from around the NBA this summer. As it turns out, however, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is taking a different approach. While most players have been bulking up this summer, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has revealed that LeBron has actually reduced his weight (h/t Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated):
Pelinka says LeBron James has slimmed down from last season. Of James's mindset, Pelinka says, "He has a high level of confidence in his teammates and what this team can accomplish."
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) September 23, 2021
Lakers coach Frank Vogel previously talked about how Anthony Davis himself has had an “imposing” offseason transformation. It looks like AD has put on a lot of muscle over the summer, and it will be interesting to see what type of impact this will have on his game.
LeBron James, on the other hand, has taken on a different mindset. Instead of working on his body mass, the Lakers star has decided to trim down his weight ahead of the new season. James has been in the game for nearly two decades, and there’s no denying that he knows his body extremely well. At this point in his career, he clearly believes that shedding some pounds is the best way to approach what many believe will be a championship-or-bust season for L.A.
LeBron James, Rob Pelinka, and the Lakers have one fundamental advantage entering this season: They will be rested. They had to start the 2021 NBA season (not actual games, but training camp) roughly one and a half months after winning the 2020 NBA Finals in the Orlando bubble.
The lack of a normal-length offseason after a mentally draining journey in Orlando left the Lakers deep fried for the subsequent season. It left them vulnerable to a spate of injuries which left them depleted and taxed late in the season.
The Lakers fell to the NBA play-in round, survived a one-game battle with the Golden State Warriors, and then were cut down by injuries to Anthony Davis and others in a six-game series loss to the Phoenix Suns.
LeBron James and Rob Pelinka are banking on accumulated rest and a normal schedule to give the Lakers the refreshment they need to reclaim the Larry O’Brien Trophy.