LeBronís not-so-secret conditioning tool: bike riding

12/19/12 in NBA   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

While many teams in the league are tumbling with piling up with injuries, the Miami Heat are counting their blessing with a healthy LeBron James in the front court. However, the Miami Heat’s secret to continuity doesn’t classify as reduced minutes for the league’s reigning MVP. If anything, LeBron James had a busy year jumping the boat with the summer Olympics after a long postseason, and running through the training camp without any breaks.
"He's a different animal," teammate Dwyane Wade exclaimed on Tuesday. "He's a different beast. What can you say?''
So what’s this high-cardio regime that keeps LeBron James full-pistons going 37.8 minutes per game?
The secret my friends in none other than some simple bike riding. What started out as occasionally taking the bike over driving to a few practices turned into a preferable mode of travelling for morning shootarounds, and now it’s become a home games thing.
Before the Miami Heat’s home game win by a 30-point margin over the Washington Wizards last weekend, LeBron James rode his bike to and from the morning shootaround too.
During Tuesday’s 103-92 comeback victory over the Minnesota Vikings, LeBron James’ high of conditioning showed again with a 22 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds performance at AmericanAirlines Arena.
"I felt great. I didn't get tired. I don't think I got tired (Tuesday) night,” said LeBron James, who played a grueling 42 minutes in the game. “I could have played again if we had to. Yeah, I've been biking a little more than usual. It's fun. It's also conditioning - it's cardio."
However, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoestra had no intention of riding out his luck and the initial plan was to pull out LeBron James once the offense gained stability, but the Minnesota Timberwolves made a late run. Guard Dwyane Wade wasn’t in shape for another go, so the Miami Heat again leaned on LeBron James.
"I would have preferred that it would have been 37 (minutes) if we could have taken that lead to 25," said Spoelstra, although he never doubted LeBron James' “world class” conditioning. "We weren't able to do it. He wasn't even breathing heavy."
At 16-6, the Miami Heat may not have the best record in the league, but they are undoubtedly doing better offensively than last year, with highest assists ratio (18.4), 3-point shooting percentage (.412) along with effective field goal percentage (.550) since the arrival of LeBron James in 2010. Ray Allen is successfully doing what he was brought in for, shooting 47.1 percent from the arc, while a rejuvenated Rashard Lewis (47.4 percent) also provides a major boost to the Miami Heat offense.
"Everybody is healthy. Same lineup,” Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said ahead of Tuesday’s game.
And with LeBron James’ intentions to maintain top conditioning up to next spring’s playoffs, his _ frame on a bike are becoming a regular site around the area.
"I want to maximize everything I can and not waste an opportunity each and every day to compete and get better as a player," LeBron James said. "I want to be the best. You've got to push the button sometimes."
LeBron James’ determination is so strong that not even an admiring fan can stop him passing by on his excursions on the bike.
"People try to stop me, but I'll be in my zone," LeBron James said.
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