It might seem hard to imagine LeBron James with more muscular. The new Lakers superstar is one of the most physically fit players in NBA history, with rippling muscles that seem as though they’d be much more at home on a comic book superhero than an actual, real person.
But when the first photos of James practicing in Lakers gear hit the internet, one of the photos stood out as even more ridiculously unrealistic than his rippling muscles appear normally:
"My arms could look like WHAT?" pic.twitter.com/TmS8PMMJsP— TV's Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) August 9, 2018
Now, James already appears to be flexing at borderline-insane levels in that photo, but the internet is always happy to take things up a notch, which led to someone (I’m still not sure who) creating this photo edit imagining James with approximately all of the muscle that was floating around in a few places:
Does anyone know who made this? It cracks me up every time pic.twitter.com/eYvHJznOOh— TV's Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) August 10, 2018
It seems the photo amused James as well, because he posted it to his Instagram story with the caption “Luke said I maybe playing more five this year... so I said ok then well” followed by two flexing emojis:
Now, unless Thanos actually comes to earth searching for Infinity Stones, it seems unlikely LeBron is going to fully Hulk out like he did in that photo this year (at least if the Lakers don’t hire Mike Bibby as James’ personal trainer), but what was notable about this — aside from it being hilarious — is that it’s the first time James has publicly acknowledged that he might be playing more center this year.
The possibility of James playing the five more was first raised by, well, the Lakers’ lackluster other options in that area following free agency playing out. Then an anonymous Lakers executive gave it more juice by saying that the team was excited to see what a “death lineup” with James as a smallball center would look like.
This is the first time James has commented on the possibility since, and if he’s publicly joking around about it, it would seem at the very least he’s open to the possibility, something his attempts to bulk up and stabilize his core this summer seem to lend credence to:
LeBron, who is a Los Angeles Laker now, is back in the gym. pic.twitter.com/wpI44NnR67— TV's Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 10, 2018
Now, it’s worth noting that James has played so little center before that we only have a very limited idea about what that would even look like. But still, the fact that he’s seemingly open to it is another good omen for his level of buy-in and approval about the other moves the team has made this summer, and his commitment to the Lakers being the best team possible both this year and moving forward as he ages.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.