LeBron James was coming off a season where he played a career-low 55 games, including sitting out the final six games to attend to a season-long groin injury. It was the first time since 2005 that James was not in the playoffs.
The former no. 1 overall pick had nearly half a year to get prepared for his next NBA season and LeBron came out guns blazing.
He teamed up with fellow All-Star Anthony Davis to lead the Lakers to their best start since the 2009 Championship season.
When the NBA season was put on pause, the Lakers led the Western Conference with a 49-14 record. They were poised to return to the NBA Finals after a ten-year drought. Now, the whole team has an opportunity to reflect on the potential matchups ahead.
Frank Vogel said on a conference call that, although has no opinion on what the league should do when basketball resumes, he's given his staff assignments to study up on potential playoff opponents, as if the regular season is over.- Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) April 3, 2020
We don't know when, but the NBA will be back. And when it returns, LeBron James will still be the king. James notably invests over $1 million annually on maintaining his body and mind so that he operates at peak levels.
James' regimens include a cryo-chamber that offers a more efficient version of the dreaded post-game/post-workout ice baths with the use of liquid nitrogen. LeBron even has a hyperbaric chamber that increases oxygen to the body and can raise mental awareness. Add this to the meticulous meal planning and personal trainers and it's easy to comprehend why LeBron is one of the greatest players to ever dribble a basketball.
For perspective, actor Kumail Nanjiani spent about one year getting in shape for his role in the film, The Eternals.
James has prepared ten times as intensely as Nanjiani and has done so for about a decade. The 3-time NBA Champion has already added to his career highlight reel this season with a mesmerizing reverse dunk that may very well be the image of the year:
👀 the angles from @KingJames' incredible reverse slam! #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/9UOXendava- NBA (@NBA) February 7, 2020
James is a student of the game and keeps his accomplishments in context. With his balanced attack, LeBron is certainly making a case for a fifth MVP award.
The former no. 1 pick is averaging 25.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and a league-leading 10.6 APG. Collectively, James is a swiss-army knife that picks and pokes at opposing teams in every way possible. James' dominance has allowed the Lakers to have four different winning streaks this season of 7 games or more.
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Now, he will have even more time to heal his battle wounds as he gears up for the next chapter. The King should have at least 3 months to restore his body to full strength. In many ways, LeBron is like a fighter in a video game whose health goes up with rest - no matter what the damage is, you're in for a hard-fought battle and time only makes it tougher.
James has shown no signs of slowing down and whenever the league returns, we will see the NBA's most accomplished active player showcase his skill and talent after significant rest.
LeBron won his first title in a strike-shortened season back in 2012 so it would only make sense that he wins his next one in what would be the longest season in NBA history.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.