ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson, a former teammate of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, says that it looks like James lost 10 to 12 pounds since suffering a foot injury that kept him out of the lineup for most of March.
“Well one of the things I’ve noticed is that he looks like he lost about 10, 12 pounds from the time that he got hurt to now,” Jefferson said. “It looks like he’s trying to take weight off of that foot, make him a little bit lighter, make him a little bit quicker.”
James, who injured the foot on Feb. 26 against the Dallas Mavericks, has played four games for the Lakers since returning on March 26.
Los Angeles has promptly jumped to the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, moving to two games over .500 on the season after defeating the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
Jefferson played with James during the superstar’s second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning an NBA title with him in the 2015-16 season. James was at his peak during those seasons, as it was a part of an eight-year run where he made the NBA Finals in each season.
Jefferson makes some good points about James wanting to keep weight off his foot so he can stay healthy for the rest of the Lakers’ run this season.
Los Angeles is certainly a contender in the Western Conference, and the team is just half a game behind the No. 5-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.
To make things even better for the Lakers, they have a chance to beat the Clippers coming up on Wednesday this week.
This season, James has been terrific when he’s been healthy. The NBA’s all-time scoring leader is averaging 28.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 49.9 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from beyond the arc.
He has been slowed a bit since returning from the foot injury, scoring fewer than 20 points in three of his last four games. However, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves and others have stepped up in the scoring department to lead the Lakers to wins.
Whether James really lost weight or not, the Lakers are glad to have him back for the stretch run. After missing the postseason in the 2021-22 campaign, the Lakers could shock a lot of people and make a deep playoff run with Davis and James both in the lineup.