The basketball world has been buzzing lately about an unexpected decision LeBron James made this summer. It has already had sweeping effects across the NBA, and it has radically changed how everyone sees the sport’s biggest star.

He cut carbohydrates from his diet.

James, who also opted last month to leave the Miami Heat for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, has shed a noticeable amount of weight since going on a summer-long carbohydrate cleanse not long after losing in the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs in June.

It wasn’t like he needed to slim down for swimsuit season. Few, if any, professional athletes are fitter than James, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound tank who makes other players look obese by comparison.

But watching what he eats in the off-season is James’s latest attempt to refine his game as he enters his 12th season and nears his 30th birthday, which is Dec. 30. James considers his summer adjustments as a way of tinkering to perfect himself in “the lab”—his nickname for the gym.

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