NBA superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are following Kobe Bryant's model of longevity this summer - they are watching what they eat and are losing weight.
Judging by the Instagram posts of James, he has visibly lost some 10 to 12 pounds and Carmelo Anthony is following suit by taking a new regimen to shed weight. They are both entering the last phase of their careers and possibly their final mega-deals with their respective teams and they only have to look at the early 2000s best superstar-Kobe Bryant.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports, the regimen of the current crop of NBA stars can be credited to Bryant's effort in his younger years.
Kobe Bryant has been the model of fitness. In 2007 when he was turning the leaf and saying goodbye to his 20s, the Black Mamba went on a vegan route and shed 20 pounds. The results speak for itself as he recorded a dominant stretch from 2007 to 2010 when he won two titles, one Most Valuable Player award and two Finals MVP citations. He also remarkably missed only 9 out of the possible 246 regular season games in the span of three years.
The feat was astounding as Kobe was considered an outlier given that basketball players who reach their 30s usually decline. To top it all even after at age 34, he was still in the top ten players in scoring and leading a Los Angeles Lakers squad headlined by top players such as Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash.
Kobe must be rubbing off the work ethic to younger stars and former 2012 Olympic teammates Anthony and LeBron. The summer of 2012, not contented with his further physical improvement, Bryant shed an additional 16 pounds by undergoing a training program to alleviate weight on his knees.
"With summer basketball leading directly into the season - and I'm expecting to play until next June - I have to take some load off my knees. I've got to shave some of this weight," Bryant told the Guardian.
This is the same reason the best player in basketball, James is also going back to his earlier years' weight, to relieve weight on his knees and extend his longevity. Carmelo Anthony, who just signed a mega-deal to stay with the New York Knicks is also visibly trimmed, in an effort to prolong his career.
In a league that has a mark of imitation, LeBron following suit to Kobe's plan is a testament to how the best players borrow from the past generation's alpha. Even Kobe has an unlimited number of videos seemingly taking from the playbook and moves of Michael Jordan. Well as the cliché goes, imitation is the highest form of flattery.