LeBron may have been sloppy with his dietary regimen during his absence with a groin injury. The King apparently gained 30 pounds during his six-week recovery from the injury, leaving speculation that he is becoming sluggish.
According to Brian Windhorst, LeBron James gained 30 pounds after a groin injury.
As far as performance, the King has been playing well enough not to raise questions about his weight, even notching two triple-doubles in three games. Nevertheless, the Lakers are losing and fans are gasping, holding their breath while trying to catch up to the final playoff spot.
There may be some areas where LeBron is falling away. He has scored 18 points twice in four games which is totally out of character, but he also got 9 assists in each game. It seems the weight is pushing him to pass more than shoot.
Although, maybe LeBron just isn’t motivated by his new team to stay in shape. At times, it may even seem like he doesn’t care whether or not the Lakers make the playoffs. “You either make it or you don’t,” James stated when asked whether he worries about the Lakers’ playoff chances.
Perhaps LeBron knows something we don’t. The King has had to deal with his share of teams since being in the league, he even went to the NBA Finals with Zydrunas Ilgauskas as his running mate. After dealing with so many teams and situations, maybe LeBron is not ready to panic. The Lakers have certainly seen their share of hope during the season - even grabbing the 5th spot in the West before injuries.
Nevertheless, the lack of a sense of urgency is no excuse for gaining 30 pounds, especially for a professional athlete with the influential magnitude of LeBron James. In the end, it does seem out of character. James may not have the work ethic of Kobe, who would be shooting in the gym before the lights came on, but he does have the professional courtesy not to gain 30 pounds during a 6-week stretch.