Actually, he never started keeping track. At some point this season, he occasionally began riding his bicycle to practice instead of driving.
Then it turned into riding to morning shootarounds.
And then games.
Suddenly, James was spending more time on the bike than driving around in expensive cars. The added conditioning is why he seems to have no problem logging 42 minutes in the most routine of games. That was James' stat line in the Heat's 103-92 comeback victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
This wasn't a national television game, or against a contender. This was James showing his durability in a 22-point, 11-assist, seven-rebound performance in a game with no bearing on the remainder of the season.
"I felt great," James said. "I didn't get tired. I don't think I got tired (Tuesday) night. I felt great. I could have played again if we had to. Yeah, I've been biking a little more than usual. It's fun. It's also conditioning, it's cardio."
James introduced his passion for riding when he was spotted on his bike on the way to the Heat's game against the Chicago Bulls last January. Fatigue had little effect, with James scoring 35 points in a 97-93 victory.
He has since added it into his conditioning program. The result has him averaging 37.6 minutes, topping 40 nine times this season.
"He's just a freak of nature," Timberwolves forward Kevin Love said. "He's very durable. He just has all the tools and continues to get better. Everyone knows that he'll be a big problem (for opposing teams) for a really long time."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the plan was to remove James once the game was in hand Tuesday, but the Timberwolves made a late run. Guard Dwyane Wade was done for the night while James was closing yet another game.
"I would have preferred that it would have been 37 [minutes] if we could have taken that lead to 25," said Spoelstra, who refers to James' conditioning as "world-class." "We weren't able to do it. He wasn't even breathing heavy."
James has made the bike ride from his Coconut Grove home three times this season. Each trek takes from about 30 to 45 minutes, depending if James is "pushing it." Last Saturday he made the trip four times in one day, riding to shootaround and back in the morning. A few hours later, he rode back and forth for the game against Washington Wizards.
The last trip occurred about an hour after the Heat's 30-point victory.
"I got lights on my bike," James said. "I'm serious. This isn't a joke. Of course, safety first."
James risks the chance of being noticed during one of his many rides. His solution is simple: "People try to stop me but I'm in a zone."
Sort of like James' on the court this season. He's once again putting up numbers to deserve regular-season most valuable player consideration. James is averaging 25.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.7 assists, yet still feels the need to improve.
"I don't know," James said. "I just have a drive to continue to improve and just continue to fight through it. (Monday) I was extremely tired but I got some more work in. I'm just trying to push through. As a leader, I want to continue to push through. I've got a personal vendetta against myself right now. I'm just trying to push the button, I guess push the envelope."
As to why he has the vendetta against himself, James said, "because I don't like me."
Of course, he was joking. It is all part of his attempt to become one of the greatest this league has seen. He is currently considered the game's best. Now, he is trying to solidify himself among the all-time greats, along with the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.
"I want to maximize everything I can and not waste an opportunity each and every day to compete and get better as a player," James said. "I want to be the best. You've got to push the button sometimes."