MIAMI — LeBron James won a title and nothing changed.
Sure, there were a few events. The obligatory champagne shower in the Heat locker room. The parade through before an estimated 400,000 fans. A pep rally at his high school. And Tuesday night brings the ultimate capper, the ring-and-banner ceremony just minutes before the start of a new season.
Then it begins again, another year, another quest for a title.
Having one title is not completely satisfying for James, who put the he-can't-win notion to rest when the Heat beat the Thunder for last season's title. It was a perfect run for the perennial All-Star: Besides getting engaged and winning his second Olympic gold, James walked away with the NBA's three most coveted trophies: MVP, Finals MVP and the championship.
For an encore, he wants more: "I want to be the best of all time. It's that simple."
He expressed similar sentiment last year, and the year before that, and probably all the way back to high school in Akron, Ohio. He always wondered if a championship would change that perspective.
He now has his answer.
"Not really, honestly," James said. "I haven't had much time to really just think about what actually happened. At the end of the day, there's still going to be people that say, 'Well, he's not going to be able to win two. He's not going to be able to do it again.' "
Time will tell.
At 6-8, 260 pounds and blessed with a speed-and-strength combination — "he's a freak," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said — James is widely considered the best player today. He has won three MVP awards and some say he might keep winning those until voters get tired of selecting him.
But the best of all time, that title will take some work.
So this summer, James took very little time off. He went straight from the Finals to the Olympics, then rested briefly before getting back in the gym. He arrived at camp in essentially the same shape as he ended last season. "The best thing about last year is we got … to the mountaintop and then we crossed over," James said. "So now I know what it takes to get there and actually get over the top of that mountain."
Knicks: Rookie guard Chris Smith out of Louisville was waived, cutting the roster to 19.
Mavs: Owner Mark Cuban said no decision has been made about Delonte West's future with the team after the guard was suspended for the second time in 10 days. Cuban said he will make the final call on whether West will return.