MIAMI – After a summer spent alongside an elite collection of some of the other best basketball players on the planet, it takes a lot to impress LeBron James.
James capped his biggest year to date with his first NBA title, first Finals MVP and a gold medal won at the London Olympics. But if the Heat are as good as they could be, or as good as James thinks they can be, things could get “scary” around here this season.
With Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade healthy this time around and new additions in veteran stars, and former teammates, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, James sees the 2012-13 version of the Heat being potentially better than the crew that hugged that Larry O’Brien trophy in June.
“We have the potential to be better,” James said Friday during the Heat’s media day. “We have the potential to be a lot better. And that’s scary.”
Scary is the run James is on currently. His perch atop the basketball was secured during a dizzying nine-month stretch that saw him collect virtually every piece of hardware any player could dream of. Any notion that he would ease up and be satisfied with winning his first NBA title was squashed when he took all of six days to enjoy it before heading to Las Vegas for training camp with the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team in preparation for the Olympics.
Any notion that the Heat would be satisfied with winning just one title during the Big 3 era was washed away when the wooed Allen away from the Celtics and other teams that pursued him in free agency. There were clearly bigger and loftier goals in mind.
“LeBron has a great sense of legacy, not only his own personal legacy, but this team’s legacy,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This team was built for something bigger than just making a one-year run. Nothing is guaranteed. We know how difficult it will be … This is a different challenge now. And that’s what you should want is to continue to have an opportunity to reinvent yourself. How do we respond to success? Will it be as motivating and powerful a teacher as the pain and the failure of the year before. I love that. I’m looking forward to that, because we’ll find out a lot more about ourselves in this new journey.”