LeBron James Weight Loss: Before Photo
LeBron James posted a photo showing off dramatic weight loss for the 2014-2015 season. Reuters

[UPDATE: 8/6/2014, 11:50 a.m.]: LeBron James told Grantland he lost weight because he believes he was in “the worst shape he’s been in in a while,” and has been self-conscious about his weight in recent years.

Original Post:

A large weight has been lifted from LeBron James’ shoulders since his announcement of his return to Cleveland on July 11, but he’s losing weight in his shoulders, too. James shared a photo of himself on Monday showing dramatic weight loss in his face, shoulders and core. But the Cavaliers player isn’t shedding the pounds for summer; he’s getting trimmer to prepare for the coming season.

The 29-year-old NBA star is on a “cut,” according to Sports Illustrated, and dieting for the 2014-2015 season as well as the rest of his basketball career. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said LeBron “dropped significant weight” as part of his decision “to cut carbs this summer.”

James is likely looking to drop the weight as “a preventative measure to save his knees,” SI said. The six-foot-eight star’s official NBA weight is 250 pounds, but many believe he weighs 10 to 15 pounds more.

He’s not the first athlete to eat healthier with goals of career longevity. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have admitted to going on diets — Bryant eating more vegetables and Nash cutting sugar — in order to prolong their careers.

But some are saying James’ weight loss is a signal he will be changing his role next season. LeBron could end up playing small forward on the Cavaliers, Fanatix speculated, if Kevin Love, who is in talks of a trade, joins as power forward.