LeBron James is in the 15th season of his professional career.
On Dec. 30, he’ll turn 33 years old.
Yet even after logging 42,431 NBA minutes to date—more than Michael Jordan accumulated over his entire career—James claims he’s never felt better.
“This is my 15th season, and this is the best I’ve felt in my career. I want it all,” James recently told ESPN. “I want to kind of try to break the mold for the next generation. So just take the narrative out of, ‘OK, you’re past your prime when you get (to) 31, or you’re past your prime in your 12th year in the league, or whatever the case may be.”
Take a look at this recent play from James and it’s hard to imagine he’s lost even an ounce of athleticism to Father Time:
James’s numbers look like those of a player still firmly in his prime. He’s currently averaging 27.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game while shooting 57% from the field and 40.1% from 3-point range. Should his current stats hold through the end of the season, he’ll set career highs in assists, blocks, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
King James is truly an ageless wonder, but that fact doesn’t surprise those who know him best. LeBron reportedly spends $1.5 million a year to keep his body healthy, and his dedication to staying injury-free is legendary among the NBA elite.
“One thing (I’ve) learned about LeBron—I worked out with him—LeBron takes care of his body,” Kevin Durant said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. “He knows that in order for him to play that long, his body has to be up. He has to keep that in shape. Like he works on his body, like, religiously.”
LeBron even employs a personal sports biomechanist (Donnie Raimon) to ensure he avoids the underlying movement deficiencies that often lead to wear and tear for veteran athletes. His workout tool of choice, the VersaClimber, helps him achieve ludicrous levels of cardiovascular endurance yet subjects his joints to very little impact. He emphasizes core strength and stability above all else, knowing it’s essential to both elite performance and injury prevention. At this point in his career, every aspect of James’s life seems oriented towards keeping his play incredible and his body invincible for as long as possible.
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