But not because of the image makeover so artfully, and apparently sincerely, crafted in the wake of perhaps the most stressful season of his career.
But because of the focus.
There have been no slip-ups during these playoffs, no sitting in front of a podium microphone alongside Dwyane Wade and joking in Boston about how a question was "retarded," as was the case a year ago.
And it's safe to say if a Thunder player comes down with the flu during this impending two-week series, as Dirk Nowitzki did last season, there will be no hallway mockery of the illness, as was captured between Wade and James in the hallways of the American Airlines Center in Dallas, as the Heat's season was going up in flames.
Instead, this postseason there has been measured thought both in play and comportment. Pregame and postgame in the locker room is spent turning pages, now completing the "Hunger Games" trilogy.
Some, and plenty skeptics remain, see it all as for show.
Yet this season the family is alongside in South Florida, not back in Akron. The mother of his two children, a companion since high school, is about to become his wife. He is grounded, more like us at least in disposition. He actually just might be taking out the garbage on the occasional night.
Too many simply didn't like who he was.
Now? Now he comes off so much more as who we want him to be.
A year ago, if there was a championship, validation would not have been complete, because LeBron James has always been about more than his craft. Icons almost always are.
Now with a championship, he can walk off the court and away from this season as both who he wants and who we want him to be:
Respected and a winner.
Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.
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