LeBron James is and always has been a physical freak of nature. His blend of size, athleticism and durability is one that has really never been seen before in the NBA. However, as he gets older, you begin to wonder how long James will be able to rely on that athleticism and durability. As with any athlete, as they age, their athleticism starts to trail off and their number of nagging injuries tends to pick up. For James, who’s played over 42,000 minutes in the NBA in his 13-year career, taking care of his body is key to his continued success.
In order to take care of his body, James spends more money than some of his rookie counterparts make in a year. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s recollection of a conversation with James’ business partner Maverick Carter on Bill Simmons’ podcast, James spends around $1.5 million per year on the process that keeps him in tip-top shape. From the podcast:
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.
Well, that would certainly explain James’ ability, at age 32, to still perform at a level reminiscent of his early-career exploits. So far this season, James is casually posting 22 points 9 rebounds and 9 assists in nearly 37 minutes played per game. Seems like that $1.5 million is money well spent.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.