LeBron James: ‘I’m Just a Better Player Than I Was Last Year’

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

In just over 36 minutes against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James led the Miami Heat to a dominant win, while posting a “quiet” statline of 37 points, 10 boards, 6 assists and 2 blocks (while being routinely spectacular.)

And it didn’t seem as though James even broke a sweat once during the game.

LBJ promises to play much more freely and happily this year — last season’s ill-fitting villain role has been tossed aside — and after having tinkered with his game during the extended offseason (most notably, his lowpost game), LeBron says he’s coming into this season as a vastly improved player.

From Yahoo! Sports:

James, however, was unmoved by the Heat’s dominating 105-94 rout of the Mavs in Sunday’s season opener. If last season taught James anything, it’s that no one cares how you start the season. It’s all about how you finish. “I got a lot of work to do still,” James said matter-of-factly. “I’m just a better player than I was last year.”

“I just think he has just done a great job of being a student of the game,” teammate Dwyane Wade said. “He’s coming back this year more comfortable and more confident.” […]“I can’t afford to come back and not be a better player and dwell on what happened,” James said. “It was for time for me to get better.” Said Wade: “That’s the LeBron James we want to see for 66-plus games. If we do that, we’ll be very successful.”

“I just wasn’t myself,” James said of last season. “There was a lot going on, on the court and off the court. So, once I was able to figure the things to get better individually on the court and off the court, I was able to focus on my game and get better. I’m happy where I am right now. It’s the best I’ve felt in a long time.”

The Miami Heat were already considered by many as the heavy favorites to win the 2012 NBA title, and now their best player (also widely considered the best player in the whole League) has improved his game, and is in a better place mentally than he’s ever been.

I can’t imagine that any of the other teams in the League are too happy with these developments.