- Associated Press - Friday, December 31, 2010

MIAMI (AP) - Given the opportunity, LeBron James would change countless things about 2010.

Losing to Boston in the playoffs. How his infamous ‘Decision’ to leave Cleveland was executed. The fraying of some long relationships with the Cavaliers.

But regrets?

None, the two-time MVP said while looking back on the year unlike any other in his life _ and looking ahead to 2011, a year the Miami forward hopes to have defined by championship instead of controversy.

“It absolutely was a good year,” James said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday while relaxing alongside the Heat practice court. “I don’t regret any decision that I’ve made and I’m happy where I am now. I think my family, my friends, they’re all excited with my new beginning. And I definitely am.”

He meant that in many different ways.

Business-wise, while studies suggested his “Q Score” _ the measure of how something or someone appeals to a broad audience _ took a big hit over the offseason, sales of his new Miami jersey and his latest line of Nike sneakers are booming. Personally, some of those who have known him best say he’s as happy as he’s been in years. And on the basketball court, the Heat are soaring.

Winners in 16 of their last 17 games, the Heat will take a 25-9 record into 2011, and have more than a few people around the NBA saying they’re playing as well as any team in the league, maybe better. All the negativity after a 9-8 start seems long forgotten.

“Overall, where we’re at now is what I envisioned,” James said. “Did I envision our tough times early on? Not to that extent. I knew we would have some bumps along the road, but to the extent where we were at? I don’t think any of us expected that. No one here in Miami or no one in the league expected us to have these trials and tribulations. But it made us who were are today, going into 2011.”

So in other words, the Heat have collectively taken a similar road as James did personally over the past 12 months.

A year ago, he was still expecting to deliver on his promise of bringing a title to Cleveland, even as nonstop speculation swirled about his plans for free agency on July 1. The opinions and predictions were everywhere _ he was going to New York, to Chicago, to the Clippers, staying home in Cleveland.

Everyone, it seemed, “knew” what he was going to do. Everyone, that is, except James himself.

While many suspect otherwise, James still says he didn’t make his decision until the morning of July 8, announcing it to the world about 12 hours later in a televised special that raised $4 million for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America _ along with the ire of millions who watched it live.

“He can take this year, for the rest of his life and the rest of his career, and look at it as a stepping stone for him as a basketball player and as a man,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “He was on a team projected to win a championship, was the MVP and then everything came crashing down real fast. So he had to make a tough decision, and he made it based on what was best for him as a man.”

James grew tired long ago of discussing ‘The Decision,’ even though he’s still asked about it almost daily.

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