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To Keep Going During The Finals, LeBron James Can't Take A Day Off


So what do you do on your day off?


Even if you cleaned the yard and did the laundry, compared to LeBron James, most of you are slackers.

CORNISH: James is in the middle of an epic performance during the NBA Finals. With two All-Star teammates out with injuries, James is not literally carrying his team at this point, but it's close.

BLOCK: He's leading the team in virtually every offensive category, and most importantly, he's playing almost every minute of every game.

CORNISH: Tom Haberstroh covers the NBA for espn.com and spoke to sports scientists who were aghast and amazed at LeBron's workload.

TOM HABERSTROH: It's akin to doing the Tour de France. You know, traveling across the country from Cleveland to San Francisco and playing every other day, it wears you down.

BLOCK: Haberstroh's most recent story laid out what LeBron does on a day off to keep going during the finals.

CORNISH: He starts with 30 minutes on a stationary bike before breakfast. Then it's rehydration before a team practice to replace all the fluids he lost.

BLOCK: After practice, he sits in an enormous tub of ice water for cold therapy.

CORNISH: Then it's massage, stretching and electrical muscle stimulation.

BLOCK: After that, he gets a much-needed three-hour nap. Then it's more stretching and more massage.

CORNISH: Then he's ready for cryotherapy. He sits in a liquid nitrogen-cooled chamber, exposed to temperatures as low as 120 degrees below zero.

BLOCK: Like we said, you're all slackers. Again, Tom Haberstroh.

HABERSTROH: He was at a practice, and he was basically trying to fight his eyelids from falling and closing. And he wasn't able to sleep just because of all the recovery treatments. It is a 24-hour workout regimen.

CORNISH: But how much is too much, even for LeBron James?

HABERSTROH: The more you play on, you know, a worn-out body - when you're just redlining - the increase of risk of injury, it skyrockets.

BLOCK: This season, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league is looking for ways to cut down travel and back-to-back games next season to keep stars like James from wearing down.

CORNISH: In the meantime, if you're watching Game 6 of the finals tonight and maybe you think pro athletes have got it easy, fill your bathtub full of ice water and sit in it for 20 minutes and then get back to us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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