When you've avoided suffering a major injury throughout your entire NBA career, played in six straight NBA Finals and have already spent more minutes on NBA courts than Larry Bird did in his entire career, you've got to have at least a little bit of luck going for you. But though luck has certainly contributed to LeBron James's continued health, there's another factor at play here, too—money. Like approximately $1.5 million.
During a conversation with journalist Malcolm Gladwell on his Bill Simmons Podcast back in June, Simmons dropped a nugget of information that remained unearthed until now. When Simmons ran into LeBron's friend and business partner Maverick Carter, he asked Carter to name the biggest misconception people have about LeBron. Carter responded that people don't fully appreciate how much time and effort the King puts in to maintaining his body, a process that costs up to $1.5 million a year. Simmons said:
And [Carter's] like, "Well, he's replicated the gym that whatever team — whether it was Miami or Cleveland — he's replicated all the equipment they have in the team's gym in his house. He has two trainers. Everywhere he goes, he has a trainer with him." I'm paraphrasing what he told me, so I might not be getting all these facts right. He's got chefs. He has all the science of how to sleep. All these different things. Masseuses. Everything he does in his life is constructed to have him play basketball and to stay on the court and to be as healthy as possible and to absorb punishment when he goes in to the basket and he gets crushed by people.
When the Cavs regrouped for training camp at the beginning of October, head coach Tyronn Lue said that LeBron had the body of a 19-year-old, a point he reiterated after LeBron notched a triple-double against the Knicks in Cleveland's season opener. We hope that's the case. If you drop $1.5 million on your body, anything less than keeping it as fresh as a teenager's would be a total ripoff.
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