Three of the NBA’s biggest superstars have taken notice to the way Kobe Bryant is exiting the game, and neither man wants to be around long enough to watch their skills erode.
Father time is still undefeated after all these years, and even though guys like Tim Duncan have remained productive fighting him off, Kobe Bryant has not.
LeBron and Wade have taken notice, as they addressed taking care of their bodies so they can performed at the highest level for as long as they can per Yahoo Sports.
This season, one of the league’s best-kept secrets became evident when LeBron James was forced to have a second round of back injections, exposing the vulnerability of even the game’s most physically imposing player. James, in his 13th season, has been diligent in protecting his back, doing pregame workouts on a stability ball, stretching and wearing heat packs while resting on the bench.
Dwyane Wade doesn’t feel it is a coincidence that James’s routine has become more intense now that his former teammate is approaching his 31st birthday.
“It’s the other side,” Wade, 33, said of turning 30. “LeBron’s body has taken a beating. It’s just about adjusting your game and your body. Some nights it’s going to feel amazing; some nights, it’s not going to feel as good.
“You feel different when you turn 30,” he said. “It’s like the day you turn 30, you wake up that next day and you’re like, ‘I feel different.’ In this league, it’s all about being able to adjust your game around how your body is feeling.”
James wouldn’t always tape his ankles as a rookie, but has now taken more elaborate steps to prevent injury and maintain his presence on the court. That has involved changing his diet, incorporating yoga and relying on high-tech recovery devices.
“I noticed my body changed at like 26,” said James, adding that he became more serious about a maintenance routine in his third or fourth season. “You try to be proactive throughout the years. When you get to a certain age, you understand what needs to be done to help your body be ready for the season, ready for the game, or whatever the case may be.”
Those changes haven’t been lost on Carmelo Anthony either — having lost half a season to knee surgery.
Carmelo Anthony, one of James’s best friends in the league, is amused that no one noticed James’ routine until now. “Y’all just now catching that,” he said. “He always did that.”
Anthony, 31, noticed a difference once he turned 30 and said he started “to pay attention to things you haven’t paid attention to in the past.” That includes stretching, elastic band work and doing preventative care hours before hitting the floor. He also makes sure his body remains warm throughout a game day.
“I think all of us have been proactive about our situations and that’s why we’re all playing at a high level still,” James said of himself, Anthony and Wade. “I’ve had a pretty good regimen for a long time now.”
It’ll be interesting to see which one of those three stars exits the game first — likely Wade or Melo at this point.