Larry Busacca/Getty
Mark Gray
July 24, 2010 01:55 PM

He may have bolted Cleveland for the sandy beaches of Miami, but LeBron James says he hasn’t changed from the Ohio-born hoopster he’s always been.

“I’m the same person,” James, 25, told PEOPLE in one of his first interviews since announcing his decision to play basketball for the Miami Heat. “I just want to win.”

Born in the suburbs of Cleveland, James played for his hometown Cavaliers for seven seasons, collecting two Most Valuable Player Awards, but never an NBA championship.

Despite all parties and the fast living often associated with Miami, the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player “won’t change” his lifestyle, he said before hosting a party at Palazzo Las Vegas’s Lavo, which was also attended by new teammate Dwyane Wade.

While it’s expected his arrival will mean Heat games will have a bit more of celebrity flair to them, James said the Heat are not likely to have a “celebrity cheerleader,” a la Jack Nicholson and his beloved Los Angeles Lakers.

“We’re not going to single out one fan,” he said. “I think the whole community down there is going to be great, and we’re looking forward to it.”

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