The Most Inspiring NBA Fitness Transformations


When some of the world’s fittest athletes get even fitter, you’ll notice it—especially if you’re on the lookout for some athletic inspiration around this time of year. These NBA players shed excess fat and packed on lean muscle in an effort to reach their fullest potential. Read on to see five shining examples of how to get started on the road to a better you.


Photo: LeBron James/Instagram

Oct. 1, 2012: 265 pounds Aug. 19, 2014: 250 pounds

LeBron James

“Skinny LeBron” mania gripped the NBA world when LeBron James returned from training camp last summer weighing in at 250 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than when he ended the previous season. According to speculation on the Cavaliers’ website, he weighed an estimated 265 pounds in 2012. His most recent bout of weight loss was reportedly the result of dropping sugar, carbs and dairy from his diet for 67 days, according to Business Insider. All he ate was meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.


Photo: Carmelo Anthony/Instagram

June 23, 2012: 239 pounds Aug. 11, 2014: 230 pounds

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has long been known as a slimmer player. However, during the 2012-13 season, his weight increased to 239 pounds. (He still managed to lead the league in scoring that year). To ensure his performance stays strong as he ages, Anthony tapped basketball trainer Idan Ravin to help him trim 10 pounds by cutting carbs and eliminating empty calories, according to Business Insider. He also increased the intensity of his exercises. As a result, he returned to around his rookie weight of 130 pounds and has been going strong ever since.


Photo: Dwyane Wade/Instagram

Aug. 4, 2012: 210 pounds Oct. 13, 2014: 220 pounds

Dwyane Wade
According to the Marquette Golden Eagles basketball website, Dwyane Wade lacked his current athleticism in 2012 with an official weight of 210 pounds. Around then, he began his physical transformation into the beast he is today by cutting down on starchy foods and trading dairy for vegetables. Last summer, he revealed his plans to get even more shredded and apparently began his work in earnest. He packed on more muscle and visibly shed fat, earning him a chiseled, 220-pound figure this year.


Photo: Kobe Bryant/Instagram; ESPN

2011: 212 pounds Oct. 11, 2013: 200 pounds
Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is a star when it comes to work ethic, so much so that he’s managed to avoid losing effectiveness as he aged through careful diet and exercise. Between 2004 and early 2012, he weighed close to 130 pounds. In 2012, he claimed to have lost around 16 pounds in preparation of taking part in the Olympics that year. According to the latest measurements from the NBA, the 36-year-old’s weight currently stands at an impressive 212 pounds. The kicker? He recently surpassed Michael Jordan in scoring.


Photo: Keith Allison/Flickr/Creative Commons; Jesse James Leija/Twitter

Feb. 12, 2011: 260 pounds Aug. 21, 2013: 235 pounds

Tim Duncan

NBA veteran Tim Duncan’s weight loss has had a visible effect on his performance, helping him lead the 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs to a championship title at the ripe age of 38. Duncan told Sporting News that he lost upwards of 20 pounds just prior to the 2012-13 season—the height of his physical transformation. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Duncan said he went from a career-high 260 pounds in 2011, to his current weight of 235 pounds in 2013.
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