LeBron James: ‘I’m 29 years old, and I can still fly above the rim. I don’t need to lose weight to do that’

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LeBron James lost weight this offseason, all the way down to near 250 pounds.

Why?

Is he getting too old too carry so many pounds? Is he gearing up to play more small forward rather than power forward? Is he changing his game?

LeBron at Cavaliers media day:

It had nothing to do with basketball. I should have wrote a letter about that, too, to stop the speculations of why I did it.

Every summer, I challenge myself to do something different that’s outside the box. I stopped eating candy last summer, just no candy for a whole summer. Just to try to challenge myself to see if I can do it.

So, I decided to do this particular diet this summer for two months. It had nothing to do with basketball, nothing at all. Once I set out a goal, I like to accomplish it.

In the process, I lost some weight. Then, in the process, stories came out I did it because of this juncture in my career.

I’m 29 years old, and I can still fly above the rim. I don’t need to lose weight to do that, not at this point in my career.

The great thing I got out of it was to see, how can my body transform? So, as I get older in my career, if I need to lose some weight or shed some weight, I know exactly where I can get down to. But it had nothing to do with basketball.

But it did make me quicker, so it helps our team.

I buy that LeBron wanted to challenge himself with something. And I buy that LeBron isn’t worried about his weight right now, not yet.

But I’m convinced his weight loss has something to do with basketball.

LeBron makes his livelihood through his body. He know he has to keep it in tip-top shape. He wouldn’t make his summer challenge, say, sampling as many types of chocolate as possible. LeBron challenging himself shouldn’t – and given his discipline, certainly wouldn’t – interfere with his basketball career.

That’s especially true given LeBron’s contract situation.

He signed just a two-year deal, forgoing security in order to secure a larger deal when the new national TV contracts kick in. That will work out for LeBron – as long as his game doesn’t radically decline between now and 2016 (or 2017, when he’d first be eligible for 7.5% – rather than 4.5% – annual raises).

LeBron being thinner should help him maintain his production longer. But that’s news to nobody, including LeBron.