For 13 seasons, almost every one of which have stretched deep into the months of May and June, LeBron James has remained shockingly healthy. His two-week health excursion to Miami last year marked the only season in which he played fewer than 75 regular-season games—not counting the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 campaign. As hard as James gets hit going to the basket, and as many minutes as he’s logged over his career, it’s miraculous than the four-time MVP has never sustained anything more severe than a high ankle sprain.
In James’s mind, a major reason for his consistent health has been the elimination of pork from his diet. James hasn’t eaten pork for seven years, a decision he made after one of his uncles suggested it. James hasn’t completely cut out red meat, but he usually sticks to pasta, chicken and fish these days.
“Oh, you can tell the difference,” James told cleveland.com. “It’s in how I recover, the energy I have. It has helped a lot with my performance. Overall, I’ve just been feeling good.”
James called eliminating pork from his diet “one of the best things I’ve decided to do for my career.” This was a strong statement considering he has always been on the forefront of athlete recovery techniques and sports science.
ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst recently said he sees “no reason” why James shouldn’t remain one of the best players in the NBA well into his mid-30s. With his health intact, and no major injury in his past, it wouldn’t surprise us to see James stick around for another 10 years. James can thank his no-pork diet for that.