SHANGHAI — National Basketball Association star LeBron James is aiming for not one but two crowns next year.
The All-Star forward has his sights set on the NBA championship after guiding Cleveland to the Eastern Conference title last season before being swept by San Antonio in the NBA Finals, as well as Olympic gold.
“I am always a leader on the Cavs,” said the 22-year-old, known as “King James” with $25 million in endorsement income and who averaged 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the regular season.
“I will grow and become a better leader and lead our team. As an individual, as a basketball player, I want to keep on improving every summer.
“I want my team to go further in the playoffs, and that means winning the championship.”
James, who has sparked a frenzy of NBA fever here as he leads the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, added that Olympic gold was another key goal.
“The goal is clear for everybody on the team — we want the gold,” he told the China Daily.
“I think it’s a big challenge for us, and I think it’s going to be a great experience trying to bring USA Basketball back on top and bring it back to dominance.”
James was a member of the 2004 US Olympic team that took home bronze from Athens, and said they had learned some bitter lessons from their failure to take gold.
“We definitely underestimated the level of play,” he said. “We understand how good these teams are and how good they can play basketball.”