Which rings true?
“I don’t want to keep harping about what people have said about me,” James said. “But personally, I’m motivated by what has gone on this summer.”
Music to the collective Heat ears, right there. Donning his new Heat home uniform and spending the afternoon flanked by fellow star teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, James began a new MLB jerseys Monday, hours before his team was to fly north for training camp in Florida’s Panhandle.
Since “The Decision,” as it’s known, James has been called a quitter by Cleveland owner and former boss Dan Gilbert, had his competitiveness questioned by the Orlando Magic, heard Dallas owner Mark Cuban say he made a bad business deal, and found himself taking note of what was written and said by countless pundits.
It’s all made James feel like he has something to prove again.
“It’s funny how things happen in life and how people react,” James said. “It seems like a lot of people try to tell you what to do with your life and most of the time they don’t even have their own life in order. That was just funny to me. So I’m really excited for this opportunity for this franchise, getting an opportunity to bring my game to this city.”
James signed a $ 109.8 million, six-year deal with Miami on July 9, one day after starring in an hourlong TV special to announce he was leaving Cleveland. He hasn’t reached out to Gilbert, but has spoken with teammates he left behind and predicts Cleveland could exceed outside expectations this NFL jersey season.
Here in Miami, the Heat can’t exceed expectations, only meet them. This team was built to win titles, and James shrugged off the notion this season was “championship-or-bust.”
“Not bust,” James said. “But it is championship.”
“Ditto,” Wade added. “What he said.”
The team’s first steps toward what it hopes will be a championship season will be televised on NBA TV as the league’s network will air Miami’s Oct. 5 exhibition debut against the Detroit Pistons.
Winning a title won’t be easy, of course, which will be the message Heat coach Erik Spoelstra begins instilling Tuesday morning at Hurlburt Field, the U.S. Air Force installation where Miami’s journey will begin.