by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Early on in his career — even up to this season, actually — people liked to claim that LeBron James didn’t have a killer instinct, that he was too nice. After the public turned on him following “The Decision” this past summer, LBJ had a choice to make: continue being the nice guy, or don the black hat.

There were indications prior to the season that something within LeBron had changed. Now, James says he’s fine with being the bad guy.

In fact, he claims that being a villain suits him just fine (a role he relished playing last night in Portland during an incredibly dominant performance.)

The Palm Beach Post reports:

James not only scored 44 points, including seven in overtime of a 107-100 win against Portland, but also guarded center Marcus Camby during the overtime. And he did so, even while enduring the usual hostility that always greets him on the road.

“I’ve grown accustomed to it,” James said. “I enjoy it.” Early in the season, he said it was harder to deal with the booing “when you’re not as comfortable as you want to be. But right now, we’re very comfortable together. I’m very comfortable. And I’ve kind of accepted this villain role everyone has placed on me. I’m OK with it. I accept it.”

Miami has won 21 of their last 22 games, including an amazing 13 straight Ws on the road.

It might be time for enemy crowds to switch up their strategy, because the current one of lustily booing ‘Bron ‘Bron and the “Heatles” just isn’t working. Your boos and taunts are evidently only making them stronger.