LeBron James says weight loss was personal challenge not basketball decision

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LeBron James was, as expected, front and center at the Cleveland Cavaliers media day Friday as reporters had their first chance to quiz the superstar since his return to the franchise.

And as well as declaring his excitement at being back home, the NBA superstar went into detail on a number of stories that have dominated the headlines since he last sat in front of the media in the aftermath of the Miami Heat's 4-1 NBA Finals series defeat in June.

In the news

LeBron was the major news story throughout the NBA offseason what with his shock decision to jump ship from the Miami Heat but he also drew attention with what many perceived as an extreme diet regime.

The four-time NBA MVP got people talking after he posted a number of photos to his social media accounts which showed the powerhouse forward looking far slimmer than in recent seasons.

Subsequent reports moved to explain the star's diet plan as a way for him to give his body a rest during the offseason, whilst also reducing the chances of future injury and as such his prolonging NBA career -  citing the likes of Kobe Bryant who have done similar things in the past.

Diet denial

But James, seen in the Cavs jersey for the first time today, moved to deny such speculation - arguing instead that his decision to shed weight and adopt a strict diet was not done for basketball reasons.

"It had nothing to do with basketball... I'm 29 years old and I can still fly above the rim. I don't need to lose weight to do that," explained James to a packed room of reporters.

So just why did he put himself through such a tough regime at a time when traditionally NBA players have the opportunity to relax a little outside of the league's schedule?

Because that is the kind of guy he is. A competitor on and off the court.

LeBron is someone who actively seeks to challenge himself (a point made clear by his decision to join the previously slumping Cavs) and the two-time NBA Champion simply stated that the diet was just another extension of that.

He went on to claim that he challenges himself every summer - in 2013 for instance he apparently gave up candy for the entire offseason - and his slimming diet was simply 2014's obsession.

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Strict regime

Regardless of whether or not LeBron James dropped down to "around 250 pounds" to help his game or not, it is almost inevitable that his lighter frame will make him an even more ominous opponent.

James himself warned in a CNN interview that airs tonight that opponents should be worried by his new physique ahead of the 2014-15 season this fall.

And just what did his much talked about diet entail?

Well according to LeBron himself he cut out everything other than fish, mean fruit and veg for a grand total of 67 days.

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers

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