Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has revealed that LeBron James has put up a big focus on his fitness level this summer. James, 37, is entering his 19th season in the NBA and Pelinka says the four-time NBA champion is in an exceptional shape.
"I think the thing that stands out is just his fitness level," Pelinka said of James, per ESPN. "He's slimmed up. And we all know LeBron studies the greats, and he adds things into his game, and I think going into this stage of his career, he's made a decision to come back a little bit leaner, and I think that's going to translate in his explosiveness and quickness."
Pelinka also revealed that he expects the Lakers to be fully vaccinated by the start of the season. "On opening night when we play the Golden State Warriors, all of the players that are currently signed on our roster, on that night, will be deemed fully vaccinated," Lakers president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said.
"We're really grateful for that."
Pelinka happy to have Lakers fans back
Staples Center will likely be full on the opening night and Pelinka is extremely excited to once again see sold out crowd at Staples Center.
"I think we're incredibly excited, obviously, with the guidance of the local authorities and the state, but we're excited that it looks like Staples Center will be full with Lakers fans for opening night," Pelinka said.
This summer, Dwight Howard returned to the Lakers. Howard expressed reluctance about taking the vaccine last year but now he is either being vaccinated or he is planning to take the jab. "Do I believe in vaccinations?" Howard asked on an Instagram Live video in July 2020.
"No, I don't. That's my personal opinion, but no, I don't." The Lakers have the oldest roster in NBA history but Pelinka insists they are ready for the challenges they face with their aging roster. "We're moving toward more of a customized model around players," Pelinka said.
"I think we live in a world where the TV we watch is more customized, the food we eat when we go out to restaurants, we have more of a say in how to create a [rice] bowl or how to make a meal. I just think it's really smart to customize our approach for what services we put around the player on the training side. So there's going to be a big focus on that with our staff going into camp."