Only ten players in the NBA are playing more minutes per game than the Miami Heat's LeBron James, but he never looks tired on the court. James said this week that his new habit of riding his bike to home games at the American Airlines Arena is a big reason why we has the stamina to log 37.8 minutes per game.
"I didn't get tired," James told the Sun Sentinel after playing for 42 minutes in the Heat's 103-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. "I've been biking a little more than usual. It's fun. It's also conditioning, it's cardio."
Last season, James was seen riding his bike to the arena before a critical home game against the Chicago Bulls. A photo taken by a fan at a traffic light of James on his bike went viral, and he has since made the trip from his home in Coral Gables to the American Airlines Arena on Biscayne Boulevard multiple times.
He told the Sentinel the trip takes roughly 30 to 45 minutes each way, depending on whether he is "pushing it." He's made the trip before three games this season, including Tuesday. Last Saturday, he rode to and from the arena for a shootaround before a game against the Washington Wizards, and then again for the game itself.
James has become a cycling enthusiast of sorts, not only riding to and from work, but also taking part in Miami Critical Mass, a mass cycling event held on the lass Friday of each month. During November's Miami Critical Mass, he posted a photo on Instagram of himself with teammates Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers at the ride.
Lest you think James is putting himself in danger by biking in a city known for reckless drivers, he says he takes safety seriously, always wearing a helmet and taking other precautions, like lights for night-riding. "I'm serious," he said. "This isn't a joke. Of course, safety first."
And the bike-riding appears to have helped keep James in tip-top shape, allowing the team to lean on him in tough games. How hard is James working? The second-most used player on the Heat, Wade, is playing only 32.7 minutes per game, a full five minutes less than James.
Though his bicycle offers less privacy than a car with tinted windows, James said he does not usually stop to talk to onlookers when he is noticed on his bike. "People try to stop me but I'm in a zone," he said.