LeBron James could be even more explosive heading into his 19th season in the NBA. Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said Thursday the superstar has "slimmed up" in the offseason.
"He’s been very, very locked in with his training, and you get a sense he has a confidence in his teammates when he looks around the locker room," Pelinka added.
According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, James has "maintained his weight at around the 250 pounds he was listed at last season."
The Lakers are looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2020-21 season that ended with a first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Los Angeles had a significant roster overhaul in the offseason, adding Russell Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell. It gives the team a third superstar alongside James and Anthony Davis to help compete with the top teams in the NBA.
Exciting depth pieces like Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk to go with veterans Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo could also help the squad return to contention.
Having a healthy LeBron will still be the most important factor as the 17-time All-Star looks to once again carry the team.
The 36-year-old missed time with an ankle injury last season, but he was far from his best even when healthy. His 25.0 points per game were his lowest since his rookie season, while his assists (7.8) and rebounds (7.7) per game were also lower than the previous season.
James is looking to return to his form from a year before when he finished second in MVP voting to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Getting in elite shape is a good place to start, and fans were given a sneak preview earlier this month:
It could make James and the Lakers difficult to stop in 2021-22.