Heat start warming up for new NBA season with training camp
AFPMIAMI--Defending NBA champion Miami returns to work on Saturday for preseason training camp, with star LeBron James coming off a gold medal effort at the London Olympics and two top teammates coming off injuries.
September 30, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
Last June, the Heat captured their first NBA crown since obtaining James two years earlier, James finally winning his long-awaited first NBA title. Then he added Olympic gold. But that has not quenched his desire for success.
“I'm not satisfied with what I've done so far,” James said. “I've accomplished a lot of goals but I'm still not` satisfied with that.”
Now the Heat have added 37-year-old guard Ray Allen, the all-time NBA leader in 3-point shots, and veteran forward Rashard Lewis to a championship roster.
“We can be better than we were this past season,” James said. “We have the potential to be a lot better. That is scary.”
The Heat will visit China for preseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers at Beijing on November 11 and Shanghai three days later as part of the preparation for the November 30 season opener against visiting Boston.
James matched Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to win an NBA title, Olympic gold and be named the NBA regular-season and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the same year.
“I don't think about what the other greats have accomplished. I have to make my own name,” James said. “As far as legacy, I can't think about that. I've got a lot of basketball left to play.”
“I want to add more presence to my game and make it more successful.”
James could become only the fifth player in NBA history to win at least four NBA season MVP awards if he can lead the Heat to the sort of season players are expecting.
“You can feel the excitement,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “You can see the difference. Guys came in really in shape.”
James won Olympic gold only six weeks ago and began Olympic training camp only a week after claiming the NBA crown, so fatigue could be a factor.
“I've worked on a few things,” James said. “I've had to be smart and get as much rest as I could. I'll use the full preseason to get back in game shape.”