Throughout the NBA playoffs, opinions about the role LeBron James should assume for the Heat to win the championship escalated. The views ranged from the Heat needing a more aggressive James, to others that claimed his just being a complimentary part of the team would suffice.
However, his NBA playoff stats tell the story. To remain a championship caliber team, the Miami Heat needs LeBron James to dominate; case closed.
Nevertheless, a different point of view may determine how James will soon play the game he rules. He is now twenty-eight years old, and in December 2013 he turns 29, then 30, and the upward spiral continues.
His body carries the weight of nine seasons as a pro, plus a high school career. As a result, he may be near where he plays the game the way his body dictates, not as he dictates.
The following are guesstimates of James professional mileage: Over his 9 years in the NBA, James played in about 72 pre-season games, 738 regular season games and 141 post season games, for a total of 1023 contests.
In his article for 5ksandcabernets, Kevin Lyons reports that NBA star Joakim Noah runs 2.74 miles per game. This topped all NBA players. Leaving a generous margin for error, James probably averages playing 40 minutes per game and runs at least 2 miles during that time. Using that scenario, he’s run approximately 2046 miles in his career as a professional.
One thousand and twenty three games of mauling wear a body out. The 2012 season began rough and continued that way because the Heat were the NBA champs, and, every game, took the others team’s best shot. The 2013 season will be the same.
Also, include an NBA lifestyle that is not conducive to rest and relaxation. The flights from coast-to-coast mean time zone and climate changes, along with day, early evening and late night games. All accomplished in the span of a few days. Then it’s back to square one, on the other coast, with a different schedule to adjust to.
Regardless of the superb physical conditioning, balanced diets and training facilities, the internal mechanisms in the human body function best on a regular schedule. A body can adjust to varied schedules for a period of time, but one day it says “no more” and doesn’t cooperate with irregular life styles.
No one knows the breaking point for a given individual’s body, but it happens to all. Does that mean LeBron James needs put out to pasture? No, maybe not today, however, it may not be long before his body starts sending signals that it’s time for him to slow down.
Then who aids and abets the Miami Heat?
Kevin Lyons: How many miles does an NBA player run each game: Not as much as you think, but NBA players are still in much better shape than mere mortals: www.5ksandcabernets.com