Lighter is better for LeBron, ‘Melo

Love getting back in the lab with my brothers @druondemand @rometrav #StriveForGreatness

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Forget the massive, muscle-bound LeBron James you’ve known for years.

He’s gone.

He’s been replaced by a sleeker and more fit model for the return to Cleveland.

LeBron is one of several NBA superstars, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade help headline the list, in the midst of physical transformations that will help sustain their careers. Sure, these guys are already at the top of the athlete food chain. But they are taking it to the next level from a fitness and nutritional standpoint, yet another sign that today’s stars are in tune with their bodies in games, due in large part to advances in the science and technology of the day, in ways that their predecessors never were.

Low-carb diets and personal weight watching is the rule of summer.

And as we all know, when LeBron digs in on something, it won’t take long for the masses to follow (it took hours for everyone else to chime in on the “Coming Home” theme).

The physical changes are impossible to miss. The leaner and more fit versions of these stars are shockingly different from what we’re used to. The new looks came basically overnight. It took LeBron a month, from the end of The Finals in June, to make dramatic changes to his appearance.

It’s continued genius from LeBron, Carmelo, DWade and others who recognize that change is needed, on their parts, from a physiological and lifestyle standpoint. They all recognize the fact that they’ve been on this build-the-body-up grind for years, a combination of the hard work and dedication that comes with being the best of the best as well as the natural growth and maturation any man goes through from his teens to the dreaded 30-year-old goal line. (Traditionally, the belief is that NBA players in general hit a certain plateau at 30 and go down the other side of the physical mountain.)

In short, the older you get the more in tune you have to be with your body and how things are changing as you continue to age, mature and settle into your life.

SI.com offered up an explanation and breakdown of the plan LeBron instituted this summer that has quite literally changed the man from the buffed up and bulkier version we are all used to seeing:

The basic, scientific concept behind James’ weight loss and low-carb diet is simple: train the body to rely on fat for fuel. The goal of restricting your daily intake of carbohydrates is to create a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body uses fat as a source of energy instead of glucose (aka carbs) in the blood and liver. When carbs are restricted low enough, the body will produce ketones, which can be used as energy—something that Dr. Jeff Volek says is inherently in our genetic code.

“There is a growing number of athletes who have been told that they need carbs and now you see them questioning that conventional wisdom,” says Volek, co-author of two books including, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. “It does take at least four weeks to adapt to the diet but almost anyone can do it and it’s something they can maintain through competition.”

Where LeBron leads, others will follow.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see Wade or Carmelo get it on the movement. No one should be surprised to see other stars follow the trend. Lighter is bound to be better for guys who carry the physical load for their respective teams the way these guys do.

LeBron being lighter on his feet will undoubtedly be better for the Cavaliers, who are set to add Kevin Love as a stretch power forward, which will eliminate the need for a bulked up LeBron who would have to split his time between the perimeter and the post.

A sleeker and swifter Carmelo operating in the Knicks’ new triangle-based offense makes much more sense than deploying the bigger and bulkier Carmelo trying to get up and down the floor while maintaining a high level of production on both ends.

Wade, who is older than his Draft classmates, has already hit the physical road block that impacts the careers of most anyone who lasts as long as he has at the highest level. He hasn’t been “Flash” for a while now. His knees have been an issue. Without James around any longer to help tote the load in Miami, he has no choice but to try to reinvent himself.

Carb-cutting alone won’t complete these transformations. These guys will all have to adjust, even if only slightly, to not being able to physically dominate their competition.

But it’s an interesting twist for guys who all have to start fresh, in one way or another, for the 2014-15 season.

Gran sesión de entrenamiento de hoy #thisisme7o

A photo posted by @carmeloanthony on

74 Comments

  1. Malcolm says:

    Thanks for the health tip and book reference! Now, older guys will have the body to match the wisdom that comes with age!

  2. Henry says:

    I believe D Wade did it last year,so he is a leader of this trend and the other have followed!It is amazing how much credit Lebron gets that is not accurate.I am not ant-Lebron, but the talking heads make their heroes surreal when they are just great humans.

  3. vern says:

    Guys ride LeBron’s “D” like it’s the merry go round. LeBron didn’t start anything. Carmelo started his transformation right after the season and Wade has been doing it since his knees have been giving him trouble. Kobe has been doing it longer than both following MJ.

    • sports fan says:

      Kobe didn’t go through a physical transformation. He has always been the same size. The only transformation he’s gone through was becoming a Jordan clone by playing, acting, and talking like Mike.

  4. cp10 says:

    Slim is just relative of course; compared to normal people they are still strong and muscular athletes.

  5. Hugh says:

    Yep,the testing for HGH is more of a factor then just these guys wanting to lose weight for the sake of their game…blah. Yep,if there had been no testing for HGH then I guarantee you we would see the same bulked up players as before. Anyone who thinks that the kind of muscle that these athletes possess is from good eating and working out and that is all…..well,better wake up. I started working out hard in my 30s to be able to keep playing the game I love(just rec league but it was important to me)and while I got in decent shape,I did not start putting on the noticeable muscle until I started taking Androstene…within 6 months I had gained about 20 pounds of muscle and was able to push around guys that outweighed me by 30-50 pounds. At 48 now my basketball days are sadly(miss it sooooo much)behind me and I no longer hit the gym the way I should. In all,yeah you have some freaks now and then that are just naturally gifted with great genetics but it is no secret when many athletes start looking like superheroes then you can bet that there are some chemical help involved. When people compare todays athletes with the guys of the 90s and earlier,you hear and see that the bodies were different and more muscular,while you had some freaks of nature back then,for the most part basketball players were lean and quick. When comparing eras one needs to take into account all the advances in training that gives todays athletes that “look”. Imagine Wilt or Moses Malone with todays technological advancements in conditioning….now that would be scary!!!

  6. BrownMamba says:

    People are blind if they’re barely realizing this. These superstars took this out of Kobe’s page from the 2012 Olympics that led to a gold medal for the U.S. These guys are not doing anything that Kobe hasn’t done including championships, yet people seem to close their eyes to his greatness. Kobe is chasing Jordan and Lebron, Melo and Wade are chasing Kobe. The author of this article gets excited when Lebron or Melo drop 60 points. Ignorance! it’s been done before. Lebron, Melo, and Wade are to the league as the Slam Dunk contest is to fans. Nothing surprising or exciting, just copycats.

    Kobe will shut them all up when he makes his comeback and perform at a high level despite his age and prior injuries. Years from now they’ll talk about how Lebron or Durant at age 37 can still take it to the rim and dunk, and how they adjusted their game to put up 20+ points a night before retirement as if it was never done before. Armatures.

    • Susie_P says:

      you obviously haven’t been there when Jordan was at his prime winning 6 championships for the Bulls. Everything that Kobe ever did, he copied from MJ. And everything Kobe did, Jordan did a lot better. Lebron, Melo and DWade are unique athletes in that they never copied anyone, more for move, amateur.

      • BrownMamba says:

        Don’t get mad. Kobe fans are spoiled we’ve seen it all, and just when we think we’ve seen it all, Kobe shows us something crazier. He’ll #showusagain. I did mention Kobe chasing MJ means trying to duplicate him, moves and all. MJ admitted it and so did Kobe. Who did it better is a different argument, but that’s what stars do generation through generation. You’re saying Lebron, Melo, and Wade never copied anyone? lol. They’ll be the first to admit that. For example Lebron also wanted to take lessons from Hakeem which Kobe did first. Amateur, Most likely Cavs fan now.

      • BrownMamba says:

        They never copy is like saying they never want to learn.

        Kobe: Been there done that. Will do it again.
        Going for 6!

    • asdf says:

      ur an idiot!

      Lebron went to hakeem to learn how to play in the post. lots of players has worked out with him.

      he sure as hell didnt do it because kobe did it. And lebron has been a better player than kobe for the last 7 years.

      Your just a delusional kobe fan.

      • BrownMamba says:

        I never said Lebron did it because of Kobe. I said he “copies” replicates other great’s moves like Kobe did. They all copy because they want to learn and grow. I did acknowledge that fact that Kobe did it first though, just like cutting weight, just like winning championships, MVPs, Slam Dunk, 50+ points or 81. He’s done it all, so it’s not that much of a shocker when other athletes do it, even though they make it seem that way.

        Accused of being delusional because I admire Kobe Bryant’s his accomplishments, and support his comeback to the NBA? Sounds like you mad also. Everyone knows it’s been the Kobe Show up until his Achilles injury. D. Wade, Durant, Nowitski, etc. acknowledged it, even MJ. Sit back and enjoy Lebron’s coming home party and most importantly Kobe’s and Rose’s comeback, it’s good for the NBA. Lebron is a good player, he’s doing things that I’ve seen that’s I’m saying. When he does something that not even MJ has done, then wow, but until then he’s still behind Kobe.

    • James says:

      That may be true but you’re obvisously blinded by the fact that you idolize Kobe. What these players are doing has nothing to do with copying Kobe. Its more of a sense of trying to stay healthy and mobile when all of these players on this list will be required to play 35-40 minutes a game through a 82 game season and with all of theses players weighing over 220 lbs and the energy and athletism that they display on a regular basis, that can very possibly lead to injuries, which is why Kobe went down on a torn achilles and knee fracture. Also, with that injury that Kobe has sustained and while I respect your dedication to Kobe, the Kobe come back will be exciting for TV but you’re looking at a Lakers team that won’t go anywhere from the 9-12 seeds come playoff time with the West as deep as it is. The best you could look forward to is hope that Julius Randle averages 20+ ppg and Carlos Boozer shows signs of being a 20-10 player again.

      • BrownMamba says:

        I’m saying that this article talks about this “new” concept about cutting weight, and is crediting Lebron James for starting this trend, when Kobe’s been doing it for a couple years. That last few seasons that he’s participated including the 2012 Olympics, he’s been lighter, quicker on his feet because of the pounds that he dropped. Let’s not forget the Point Guards he was guarding, and the big men he was dunking on prior to the season ending injuries.

        This is not new. It’s been done. Good for them! They’re professionals, they better take care of their bodies. Did they copy Kobe? Kobe probably “copied” the idea from someone else. Lebron, Melo, and Wade did not start this. This low carb diet, and superstars taking fitness to a whole new level trend had been going on for a while.

        If this is new to you, then you were blinded. Professional athletes do this.

  7. damphoose says:

    For the record , Tim Duncan did this years ago after the he 2010-11 season. He had his worse season ever, 13.4 points and bounced in the first round. Loses weight to take the pressure off his knees, comes back better the next year, and then the media went crazy about how he is a pioneer…..well everything except the last part. Does Sekou mean I don’t know jack in some other language? Just asking.

  8. damphoose says:

    Melo’s knees are wrapped…and it’s summer time. oh-uh :-(

  9. Corey Moore says:

    There were other players that play this way also, KD is one. He’s slim but he has power too.

    • Mikesheldom says:

      Dude your crazy lol kd didn’t try and slim down, he has always been a shrimp. He needs to bulk up just a little more let’s say about 235-240

  10. Terry Kuhn says:

    Words words words

  11. fonz112 says:

    Melo should have done this years ago! King James I have to get use to this look on you because you look sickly.

  12. IA says:

    Great job guys!! Proud to see y’all taking care of ir respectively diets ang giving 110% on and OFF the court!! Changes like his makes me appreciate we have the best league and best players on earth. Keep up the great work fellas!!!

  13. Edward says:

    NBA.com is just woeful for NBA news and it’s articles like this that make me wanna give up coming here altogether. As stated by numerous, and most likely young fans, none of the players you mention started anything. Continued genius? Get real. All this proves is Wade, James, Anthony are more concerned with their own feminization, like Griffin, Westbrook and half the league. I hope Wiggins and Parker blow up so we can have some common sense in the NBA again.

  14. Tru-Critique says:

    How do you guys just give LeBron credit for Carmelo’s and D-Wade’s weight loss if they all lost weight around the same time? WTF? Stop D riding please! Just because Lebron’s picture was released a few days before Melo’s doesn’t mean he lost the weight cause he saw LeBron had lost weight….smh I guess Melo lost all that weight in a week huh..

  15. Noah says:

    And Kds like I’ve been trying to gain weight this whole time!!

  16. Marty says:

    Time will tell. Maybe they’re correct but LaBron looks like he’ll get blown out of the middle when he made a move to the basket

  17. harriethehawk says:

    I like the old Lebron and Carmello. They look like spaghetti sticks with heads on top.

  18. tphen_dot says:

    lbj doing it first? c’mon! duncan has been doing this years before! check your facts. this article is just cr@p.

  19. NBAfan says:

    continued genius? a bit much no?

  20. e says:

    I’m not an expert, but watching Durant perform at that elite level, being that extremely skinny is probably the perfect example of what players can achieve after losing weight (and muscle).

  21. nel says:

    Wait didnt wade do it first lol dam

  22. Mr. Know It All says:

    Wade was been losing weight after each & every season to deal with his knee troubles. This is nothing new. He probably has one of the lowest percentage in the NBA, I THINK.

  23. Jlopez says:

    Dwade did this before lebron and melo and yet they say lebron did this first. The disrespect towards flash

  24. Elam says:

    Umm if im not mistaken dwade was the first to say he was slimming down cause of knee issue, and now its new cause he’s doin it. And didn’t kobe do this 3 years ago. Breaking news tho!!!!!

  25. bigdoy11 says:

    Everyone seem to forget k Leonard owned him in the finals.

  26. ernwop64 says:

    I HAVE BEEN SAYING IT FOR SEVERAL YEARS ,YOU CANT PLAY SMALL FORWARD AT 260LB YOUR BODY CANT TAKE THE POUNDING AND YOU TIRE IN THE 4TH.JAMES LOOKED SPENT AND IT WAS NOT BECAUSE HE HAD TO CARRY HIS TEAM IT WAS ALL THAT EXTRA WEIGHT.BASKET BALL PLAYERS NEED TO BE LIGHT AND ATHLETIC NOT MUSCULAR AND BULKY.

  27. bigdoy11 says:

    Why is it lebron started to lose lbs, wade started to lose weight right after the finals because of his knees and now you have him following lebron lol you guys in love with lebron and he ain’t no king ask the spurs about that Duncan 5 rings….. lol

  28. terro says:

    It’s continued genius from LeBron, Carmelo, DWade and others who recognize that change is needed”

    genius at the top of their foodchain lol. mister sek needs a bf i guess, and maybe some perspective about life. and stop trying to use words that he doesn’t understand, check them in a dictionnary first. they are professional athletes.
    if they were genius, they will be writing something or in a lab, going someting for humanity (or not). devinci, tesla, einstein they were genius. and michael jorrdan. thanks

  29. Yao Miiin says:

    Would not be surprised if guys are dropping weight due to mandatory hgh testing as other people are suggesting if that is the case.
    I was however surprised to hear about LBJ doing the low carb diet as Ive come to understand it as more of a tool for pure weight loss rather than optimum athletic performance. If you maintain a steady diet of anything with a limit ie low protein, low fat, youre really losing weight because of the lower intake of overall calories, not because you solely eliminated carbs from your diet.
    Since our bodies initial go to fuel are carbohydrates, once those stores are depleted, our bodies start to breakdown our own tissue going through fat and then muscle. When the body does this not only is it not as efficient at creating energy this way, the body typically hits a wall in performance similar to when LBJ @ about 8-10 percent body fat cramped up last year, its probable had he a bit more body fat, he would not have crashed and burned when he did like a F1 car leaving the pit filled on diesel. Had LBJ been on a no carb diet at that point in time I imagine he wouldve crashed and burned even sooner just as if the F1 car had been running on diesel right out the gates.
    Unless there have been radical or new discoveries in the nutrition and fitness field I would theorize that LBJ maintaining a no carb diet is only temporary,to lose weight quickly and efficiently so as to have a body that is lighter (less wear and tear) and more energy efficient in terms of production and consumption, but leading into the season he will switch back to a well rounded diet to perform at peak levels.
    Either way Im interested to see how and what this strategy amounts to.

  30. Jim Boblet says:

    melo doesnt look that healthy… Ya he lost weight, and alot of muscle along with it. byebye low postmelo

  31. Emmanuel says:

    This is a rehash of the same stories we’ve already read. Sure LeBron and Melo look slimmer, but please stop pretending like pro basketball player losing 10 lbs is huge. You guys took the one instagram photo and just ran all over the place with it. In the shirtless pic above he looks to be a bout the same size (Maybe 240 lbs instead of 250). The words “shocking” and “dramatic” are a bit of a stretch, and we can all tell when nba.com is just filling the pages and gathering traffic.

  32. Fisher10 says:

    I don’t believe there is any validity to the argument that Carmelo and these guys are slimming down as a result of the NBA making HGH testing mandatory. In fact, that argument is quite contradictory to reality. If LeBron and Carmelo had to stop taking any performance-enhancing drugs, wouldn’t they then be focused on bulking up in order to make up for what they’ll lose? Why would they be focused on slimming down? They would automatically slim down from no longer taking any HGH. This argument doesn’t make sense to me. Futhermore, I believe this is solid evidence pointing towards the fact that these guys don’t take any HGH or similar substances. Ultimately, I believe these guys are getting older and are trying to find ways to keep up as the league becomes younger and more athletic each season.

    • Average Joe says:

      “And the fact that they don’t take PEDs anymore is the reason they’re slimming down,” is what they’re saying. So in a sense, you confirmed what they said while trying to contradict them.

  33. He was alot smaller coming into the league fresh out of high school. Hes still going to be able to post be thats not going to be needed as often bc of kevin love. When he was heavier nobody could keep up with him n open floor image in shape no body fat LBJ be unstoppable force be like MJ in 1988 n pippen look how slim they was but still was unstoppable. Im reading a hold lot of hate comments.Dont hate him bc hes the future n face of basketball. REAL peep REAL

  34. I’m guessing this is a good move, but I hope he doesn get as small as Kevin Durant.I’m guessing they going back to the same size as they came in the league as rookies which makes sense because they was quicker, faster and more dominant as rookies, hope this will be paid off. Let’s get them LBJ the KING of the courts

  35. someone out there says:

    and what about Tim Duncan? He does this all the time…

  36. D says:

    lol I dont understand. Lebron slimming down is ground breaking news? Duncan and Dirk have done this for yearssss now lol. “Ohio against the World”. Could it have gotten any cornier?

    Although this move can help them, I think Melo and lebron gave up their biggest advantage over KD…Weight, size and girth. Especially Lebron. I think its safe to say Lebron had very few advantages over KD and weight was the biggest on.

  37. grammar says:

    YEA MORE LEANER.

  38. RyanBucoJr says:

    Funny they all lost the weight after Adam Silver announces that the NBA will now star testing for steroids and HGH..

  39. Fird Holmes says:

    Be careful on the low carb diet.

  40. Flexy says:

    Woo hoo, now they can all wear skinny jeans and not look weird

  41. Got your answer! says:

    LBJ RUN DMC pose; that boy look sick, literally! No pun intended!

  42. Carlo says:

    “Ohio against the world”???

    Are you really meaning it? Do you really think the world cares about Ohio?

    What a loser’s sticker.

  43. thedangerousone says:

    Laying off the PEDs. No one loses that much muscle in a month without absolutely starving themselves.

    • Syce says:

      you can lose a lot of weight by just sitting in a sauna more than usual. its how MMA fights cut weight quick enough for fights.

  44. Atrophy? says:

    Uh-huh, so they’re cutting down on MUSCLE in order to be lighter by eating fewer carbs? Is that what you’re saying? Or was LeBron “bulked up” with fat? This article doesn’t make any sense. Or, at least, it doesn’t make the all-important connection as to what exactly they’re losing on this special diet. Is it fat or muscle?

  45. kobefanjay says:

    i thought the whole thing that made lebron special and impossible to guard and stop was the fact that he has a tremendous skillset like a point guard and post moves but was so much bigger than anyone who has possessed these skill thus making him a monster with skills…so if you take away his size he is just a mediocre player in my opinion…wow…bad decision after bad decision for Lebron…sad

    • Really? says:

      You don’t know what your talking about. Lebron was drafted because of his talent, potential and pure athleticism. Even though he was bigger than most rookies that played his position coming into the league he was a freak of nature for how quick and agile he was. Losing weight will help his speed, athleticism and agility on the court. It will just take adjustment from playing where he is most effective(the post) and playing outside or driving the lane, but it most definitely does not make him a mediocre player.

      • kobefanjay says:

        he is not a freak of nature for being quick and agile…there are thousands of undrafted point guards faster etc…he was a freak of nature for being quick and agile for his size WITH THE MUSCLE….he will still be very good but will lose his dominance guaranteed. its not like he has some crazy killer instinct and ultimate winning drive the dude has a losing record in finals…they better hope they dont win the east before they are ready to beat the spurs or clippers and thunder or his rep will forever be tarnished…

    • jkrich says:

      Kobefanjay, you dont know what you’re talking about! LBJ is doing this so that he lasts longer, runs faster, jumps higher, and gets stronger. Just because he’s not as big as he once was doesn’t mean he’s not as strong! He has more muscle definition and leanness. This is what makes someone strong. And don’t forget that he still has his 6’8″ frame so he still is a monster. That goes for melo, wade, Duncan, and nowitzki as well.

      • kobefanjay says:

        weight is weight losing weight will make him easier to defend and he wont be able to defend bigger people he will have to rely more on his shot. I believe its a bad idea…saying i dont know what im talking about is silly …lets see what happens once he plays at this new weight…plus his muscle defends against injury from the wear and tear of being inside etc… now no protection just watch

  46. holothuria says:

    Wow, that LeBron is such a trail-blazer. Oh, wait, Duncan did this years ago.

  47. Sixers Fan says:

    What a delightful way to completely gloss over the fact that the NBA is conducting mandatory HGH testing this season. It’s not a coincidence.

  48. Jakezzzy says:

    I will miss the bulky version of all these guys, but just like kobe did around 4 years by now I’m just guessing, they want to be cut and lean instead of have extra muscle. Like how the article made me see how the lean versions fit better for their new team. Now all we have left to see is the same bulky beast mode d rose got hard to the rim all season.

  49. erg says:

    Carmelo started dropping pounds first while LeBron was still ballin. Chumps.

  50. OM says:

    Dirk and Duncan do this all the time but since LBJ is doing it now its news

  51. Chris says:

    So this has nothing to do with the NBA implementing HGH testing this year… OK!

    • Fird Holmes says:

      Be careful with the low-carb diet, it can hurt you if you do not have enough nutrition in the body to function.