Though a cursory glance affirms that LeBron James still ranks among the fittest people on the planet today, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward feels there's much work to be done in regards to his current physical condition.
After missing all but one preseason game while tending to minor injuries, James intends to use the Cavaliers' next run of games to work his way back to peak shape, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
"I just want to get to where I should be," James told ESPN on Thursday. "The ankle and the foot injury just kind of kept me out and set me back further than I would like, but I got some time now along the course of these games that we got. We got two back-to-backs coming up, so that's going to help and we have some opportunity to get some practice time in as well."
After Tuesday's season-opening victory over the Boston Celtics, James was candid about his desire to improve his conditioning, telling TNT's Kristen Ledlow he was "very out of shape for (his) expectations, and rightfully so."
In nearly the immediate aftermath of the Cavaliers' loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the 2017 Finals, James began posting videos of his rigorous summer workout regimen. That fervor has continued into the regular season, as James has pulled in fellow veteran teammates like Dwyane Wade into additional pre-practice and postgame workouts, per ESPN.
Head coach Tyronn Lue concurred with James' assessment.
"Shorter training camp it does hurt you as far as conditioning," Lue said. "When you have an older team that's been around for a long time, you can't really practice and condition the way you want to. (It's) going to take some time to get into shape and get in game shape."