Whether it's to live up to high expectations or to prove doubters wrong, the Miami Heat's new stars are gathering motivation from different sources for the coming season.
LeBron James, in a comment posted on his Twitter account Tuesday, said: "Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!"
In an interview Wednesday on ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning," James' new teammate Chris Bosh said James is using criticism about his departure from Cleveland "as fuel to do well next season."
"We're always all aware of what we do and how critics can be out there sometimes," Bosh said. "[James] uses it to fuel his ambition to win next year. I think we're going to have a lot of doubters. But that's fine, you know, that's a part of the game. As long as we come together and play the game the way it's supposed to be played I think we're going to be successful."
Motivation for Bosh and the Heat also comes from within. And the team's own expectation for the coming season is nothing short of an NBA title, Bosh said.
"We have to talk championship," he said. "I expect to win a championship and anything else is a failure -- and I think every person in that organization feels the same way."
Some outsiders' high expectations for the Heat are another source of fuel, Bosh said, when asked about ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy's prediction that Miami, now featuring James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade, is the overwhelming favorite to win the NBA title.
"I'm not going to sit here and say it's not possible. But it's going to take a lot of hard work," Bosh said. "Of course we're not just going to show up ... and we know things are not going to be handed to us."
Although it's "cool" to hear people predict great things for the Heat, "I think that's going to put a bigger target on our backs," Bosh said. "But that's part of the game. We knew that was going to happen before we even got together."
Bosh also addressed criticism from Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, who hinted in comments after Bosh left Toronto that the power forward was distracted by free agency and didn't give his all last season.
Bosh said Colangelo's comments were "unfortunate," adding that the two have not spoken since.
"That's how he handled it ... All I can do is react and just stay grounded and stay humble and just keep doing what I'm doing," Bosh said. "It doesn't bother me because I know I've never quit at any point in my NBA career, in my lifetime, playing basketball."