MIAMI — This was a different LeBron James.
The LeBron James that went through practice and spoke with the media Wednesday was different from the one at last year’s finals — a more mature, more relaxed LeBron who was comfortable in his own skin in a way he simply was not before. Different than the guy from “the decision.”
A reflective LeBron recognized the changes in himself.
“Last year after Game 6, after losing once again, I was very frustrated,” LeBron said. “I was very hurt that I let my teammates down, and I was very immature.
“Like I said, last year I played to prove people wrong instead of just playing my game, instead of just going out and having fun and playing a game that I grew up loving and why I fell in love with the game. So I was very immature last year after Game 6 toward you guys and toward everyone that was watching.”
LeBron said that last year he felt the pressure, but this time around it is not getting to him.
“Last year (the pressure) was much more than today,” James said. “I remember being Game 5 last year with the series tied 2-2, it just felt like more pressure, felt like it was more people here, felt like you guys (in the media) not only brought yourselves but brought your relatives all to Dallas. It just seemed more.
“And I may be wrong. I probably am wrong about that. But I’m just more comfortable. I think just me being more comfortable and me just trying to seize my opportunity.”
He gets his first chance to seize the Larry O’Brien trophy on Thursday.
LeBron also said that he felt “a lot better” than he did the night before after his legs cramped up in the fourth quarter. He expects to be ready to go full tilt Thursday night.