Miami Heat: LeBron James and Michael Jordan also have this in common

LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Indiana Pacers during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Indiana Pacers during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Miami Heat LeBron James was vastly different than others, changing his body as he changed teams. Michael Jordan had a similar ability during his time.

The Miami Heat are known for being able to maximize players from many different standpoints. While players will undoubtedly lock-in and tap into their defensive abilities more than they typically have along any stop in their NBA or basketball career once arriving in Miami, there are more factors than that at play here.

When a player comes to Miami, they should prepare themselves to find out what real hard work looks like. That is another thing that the Miami Heat focus on. Lastly, when thinking about the thing that the Heat really lock in on, it’s a player’s body and physical fitness.

Although the man is known for spending upwards of a million dollars annually on his body to remain at the level he sees fit to play the game of basketball, the Miami Heat had a part in the hulking, menacing, girthier LeBron James we saw for four years on South Beach. That is just where the line that is proverbially LeBron James intersects with the proverbial line that is Michael Jordan.

In case you have been living under a rock for the past month, ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan has been all the talk. On top of actually giving the sports world something new to debate about, it has actually provided an unseen look into the life, career, and inner-workings of everything that was the phenomenon of Michael Jordan.

For our reasons and in the latest episodes on Sunday, episodes seven and eight, Jordan’s trainer goes into detail about how Jordan changed his body several times. His trainer, professional athletic trainer to the superstars in Tim Grover, explained how he told MJ he would have to totally remake his body before he went into baseball.

After explaining how they were two totally different methods of training and muscle building, he then went on to say how he and Michael went about doing it, although they both knew it would negatively impact his basketball game. He then spoke about how they went about the grueling process of reforming his body for the NBA.

This was similar to the process that His Airness went through earlier in his career. This was the one where he bulked up, adding more muscle to his frame, in order to deal with the Detroit Pistons and the punishment that was the rest of the league at the time.

That is just where this intersection comes to life though. It shines a light on just how gifted both of them are as athletes. LeBron James and Michael Jordan not only trained to get better over time in the league, but they both dramatically changed their bodies multiple times, while still maintaining their same levels of greatness on the actual playing floor.

If you look at Lebron James from his time in Cleveland initially to when he got to the Miami Heat, he was a different animal. This was the same thing that can be said for when he went back to Cleveland.

He was strong and stacked in Cleveland the first time, before seemingly adding 30 pounds or so of pure muscle before playing a game in Miami. With the Miami Heat, he was a hulk of a LeBron, sporting a neck, a set of shoulders, and biceps fitting of the big green comic book character himself.

He streamlined himself as he headed back to Cleveland, going for a much more wiry strong and lean look. This was probably in preparation to run alongside Kyrie Irving, as opposed to the small ball methods from the Miami Heat that saw him operating a ton on the low post block.

Even as he shifted out to the west coast with the Los Angeles Lakers, you noticed a change in his body. Although not as drastic as when he initially left Cleveland for the Miami Heat or as he went back to Cleveland, there was still a difference. He bulked back up slightly, not as much as he did heading to Miami, but more so than he was on his second stint with the Cavaliers.

Although this is something that we pointed to as a thing to help him survive if he had played in the 1990s, it’s actually a part of why LeBron James could have dominated the 90s as well. He has the ability to be a chameleon from all perspectives. Whatever he needs to do to be his best self, physically, intellectually, from a team standpoint, or like here, from a body standpoint, he can and is willing to do it.

Next. Erik Spoelstra’s 3 biggest moments after 25 years with franchise. dark

We like to debate, compare, and rank the two, but there is a place where we can mutually appreciate them both. That would probably be the best way to go about it as they are actually pretty similar guys. This was another reason why that’s more true than most want to actually accept.