A Navy SEAL saved LeBron's career when it was in peril


It isn’t a stretch at all to say that LeBron James’ fame and platform are a direct result of his ability to play basketball better than just about anybody else on the face of this planet.

Fortunately for James, he has the God-given talents to excel at the sport.

Tales of his freakish athleticism range from the absurd to downright unbelievable, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recounted.

Stories about James shrugging off a badly sprained ankle to finish with a triple-double are believable. Stories about how he once gained seven pounds in the midst of a game? Not so much.

But for all of his accolades, James’ career nearly came to a screeching halt in 2015 for the same reasons that forced Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird had to hang up his sneakers early.

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By that time, James had won a pair of titles with the Miami Heat then returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers. For Cavaliers fans, it was the perfect salve after a string of abysmal seasons.

Lost underneath all of that fanfare, however, was the fact that after 12 grueling seasons which included nine straight playoff appearances, James’ body was finally starting to betray him. Including the number of playoff games he played, James essentially crammed 14 seasons worth of wear and tear into 12.

It shouldn’t have been a huge surprise that attrition was catching up to the 30-year old James, but it was causing widespread concern behind the scenes.

Specifically, James was dealing with disc issues in his back that were completely sapping him of his athleticism. Back injuries can easily become chronic and severe, and last well into retirement. Bird, for instance, was never able to fully recover from his medley of back issues and currently hobbles around like a mummy.

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In response to the serious nature of his back issues, James turned to the very same people who the American government turns to in dire situations.

Retired Navy SEAL Donnie Raimon is, from all accounts, a relatively unassuming person that your average NBA fan wouldn’t be able to tell from Bob. But for James, Raimon’s knowledge and skills are invaluable.

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#Repost @dzandertraining with @repostapp ・・・ People always ask me, "What is Biomechanics?? Well this photo might be the best definition there is. My ace and DBC Biomechainst @donnieraimon keeping my brother @kingjames firing on all cylinders. DBC is a system that is changing the way athletes approach exercise. But here's the other definition for those that didn't get it ? ====================== Biomechanists must have a  solid background in the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering including post Calculus Mathematics, several years of college Physics, Material Mechanics, and Multi-segment Mechanics before moving forward to the biological sciences. The method of Biomechanics is the method of Engineering! To understand anything in nature we must know it's geometry, materials of construction, the mechanical properties of the materials, the governing laws of physics and the mathematical modeling of the motion. #WhereDoYouTrain #DBC #ChangingTheGame #Education #CertificationComingSoon

A post shared by Donnie Raimon (@donnieraimon) on

Raimon is a retired SEAL. He spent 15 years in the service, but his passion for physical recuperation and conditioning came when he hurt his neck during a parachute jump. It was a bad injury that doctors struggled to fix, but Raimon was able to do it himself through his own hard work and dedication.

You’d expect nothing less from a SEAL.

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And Raimon has a similar expectation of James.

Since Raimon has become hired as James’ personal “biochemist” (in essence, a specialized trainer who looks at both biological and physical aspects of conditioning), James’ back has been a non-issue. While he’s not getting any younger, James also hasn’t slowed down in any demonstrable fashion despite currently being at the ripe sports age of 33.

Statistically speaking, there isn’t a milestone outside of James’ reach. And a Navy SEAL is going to be a big reason he gets there.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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