Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
The 2012-13 season, at least in the eyes of ESPN's Bill Simmons, is about one thing and one thing only: Seeing how LeBron James responds to his first championship ring.
James led the Miami Heat over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals and earned the Finals MVP award, then followed it up with an Olympic gold medal over the summer.
In essence, he's 27 years old, in his physical prime, and looks more ready than ever to take over the basketball world for good. (Sorry, Kobe.)
Already, in the first five games of the 2012-13 season, James has finished with two near triple-doubles (20 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds against the Denver Nuggets; 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists against the Brooklyn Nets).
Small sample size here, but through five games, he's shooting a career-high 55.1 percent from the floor on nearly 16 shots per game, and he's knocked down over 57 percent of his three-point field goal attempts.
If James maintains that startling efficiency all season, the rest of the NBA doesn't stand a chance of preventing Miami from repeating as NBA champions.
Either way, the NBA world will have all eyes on James this season to see how he responds to being a defending NBA champion for the first time in his 10-year career.