LeBron James has done his best to remain out of the spotlight since announcing his shock return to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month. In fact he has hardly been in the United States since.
He has been in Brazil for the World Cup Finals and to China to represent Nike, but LeBron is now back in the US and took to social media to showcase a new slim-line appearance which had some fans puzzled.
Posting a series of pictures to his official Instagram account Tuesday, James made reference to an intense training regime he has been undergoing in recent weeks, with the pictures themselves bearing evidence of its effects:
"Between this diet and @djstephfloss had me like this earlier today #RunningWithTheWinners TO edition." wrote James, before making reference to his lighter weight frame.
"@myfabolouslife and I last night flexin something light weight. Akron to Brooklyn! It's all love and respect more importantly!"
It is unlikely the new look LeBron James will enter the first game of the 2014-15 NBA season at the same weight, but according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst his current frame is due to a new diet undertaken by the NBA superstar in an effort to prepare him for the next campaign.
The NBA analyst reports that LeBron's weight loss can be attributed to the player having cut carbs out of his diet over the summer.
There is certainly a clear difference between the LeBron James seen turning out for the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs, and the 'Cavs LeBron' of today.
James has been known as one of the most powerful, imposing players in the NBA ever since his early years in the league, and Cleveland Cavaliers fans will certainly be hoping he will return to his physically imposing 250 pound soon. Irregardless, his first appearance of this his second coming will be a must-see affair.
LeBron James' may at present look a shadow of his former self, but he is far from the first to undergo such weight-loss procedures during the offseason.
The likes of Lakers duo Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, as well as veteran Tim Duncan have all followed similar regimes in recent years which have helped in part to extend their playing days by several seasons.
As noted by Sports Illustrated, for James himself the move is likely a precaution in order to save his knees from having to withstand his substantial upper body weight all year round.