On eve of Heat camp, James takes center stage

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer

CORAL GABLES, Florida (AP) — Since

LeBron James joined the Miami Heat, he’s been called a quitter, had his

competitive nature questioned, heard others say he made a bad business

decision.

In one breath, he says none of it matters.

Yet the NBA’s reigning MVP does acknowledge this much — all the doubters are fueling him.

“I do have a lot of motivation,” James said.

Music to the Heat collective ears, right there. Donning his new Heat

home uniform and sitting alongside fellow star teammates Dwyane Wade

and Chris Bosh, James spoke Monday on the eve of his first practice

with his new club, and said the team “will let our game do the talking.”

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. There has been constant outcry since — Cavs owner Dan

Gilbert called James a quitter, rivals questioned his competitiveness,

and Dallas owner Mark Cuban said James executed “the largest public

humiliation in the history of sports.”

“He is a motivated player right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The Heat begin training camp Tuesday at Hurlburt Field, a U.S. Air

Force installation in Florida’s Panhandle. On the night he signed,

James predicted Miami would win multiple titles with him, Wade and Bosh

leading the charge.

His thinking hasn’t

changed on that front since July. Asked if the Heat are facing a

“championship or bust” season, James coolly responded: “Not bust. But

it is championship.”

Received 09/27/10 03:11 pm ET