Not so long ago, no one thought the Los Angeles Lakers stood a chance to win the NBA championship. Fast forward to today, and they're the fifth seed in the Western Conference and one of the hottest teams in the league.

More surprisingly, a lot of that happened sans LeBron James. The 20-season veteran was on the shelf with a foot injury that could've kept him sidelined for the remainder of the season and even force him to undergo surgery.

But James defied the odds and nature once again and was able to come back to help them complete their playoff push. According to Richard Jefferson, that was possible thanks to a major tweak in his preparation.

LeBron James Has Lost 10-12 Pounds, Says Richard Jefferson

“Well, one of the things I’ve noticed is that he looks like he lost about 10, 12 pounds from the time that he got hurt to now," Jefferson said on ESPN. "It looks like he’s trying to take the weight off of that foot, make him a little bit lighter, make him a little bit quicker.”

LeBron Thinks The Lakers Have A Legit Shot

James only rushed himself back to the floor because he smelled blood. He knows the Lakers can go the distance and pull off multiple upsets in the playoffs to win their 18th NBA championship:

“We just want to put ourselves in a position to be able to compete for a championship,” LeBron told the media. “It’s a journey, and obviously, we don’t have as much chemistry as a lot of other teams that are trying to compete for a championship or have aspirations to win a championship, but I like what we’ve been building over the last month or so.”

Capping this season off with a fifth NBA championship would only give James more merit in the never-ending GOAT debate, especially considering how bad the team looked at the start of the season.