MIAMI -- LeBron James got a standing ovation from the studio audience as he began his appearance on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman."
And at the end of the interview, James even got a compliment from Letterman -- who was not exactly a fan of his joining the Miami Heat to begin with.
The newly crowned NBA Finals MVP appeared on Letterman's show in New York on Tuesday night, and Letterman wasted no time before asking a tough question. The first offering from the late-night host: "Well, now that you've got this out of your system, are you ready to go back to Cleveland and play some ball?"
James laughed it off. "Right now, I'll play no ball right now," James said.
Letterman had taken a jab or two at James in the past about his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami, saying Tuesday he was "furious" about the move. In a 2010 episode of "Late Show," Letterman told Jay-Z -- a minority owner of the Nets -- that if James left it would "cut the heart out of" Cleveland. And after the Heat lost in last season's Finals, actress Betty White read Letterman's nightly Top 10 list of her "tips for living a long and healthy life."
No. 2 on that night's list?
"Never dwell on past mistakes," White said, "especially you, LeBron."
But on Tuesday, there were no mistakes for James and Letterman to dwell on for too long. Letterman asked the three-time NBA MVP how winning a championship changes things.
"I went from being ringless on Wednesday night to, you know, having a ring on Thursday night," James said. "So it changed that."
Later, Letterman told James that "nobody loves a winner more than basketball fans, and you certainly are the big winner." James replied, "I appreciate that."
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are in the midst of a media tour in New York. Bosh appeared on "Live! With Kelly" on Tuesday and Wade sat down for NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." On Wednesday, all three are scheduled on ABC's "The View." Oprah Winfrey also taped an interview with the Heat trio in Miami on Monday scheduled to air on her network Sunday night.
Letterman also spent time talking about the upcoming London Olympics with James, who also played for the U.S. team at the Athens Games in 2004 and the Beijing Games in 2008.
James told Letterman that he expects Argentina, Spain and France to be good challenges for the Americans in London.
"Team USA, we try to go out there and showcase our talent at the highest level and represent our country the right way," James said. "So, you know, we always look forward to bringing home the gold."
As the interview was ending, Letterman took the championship trophy out from behind his desk.
"That's my baby right there," James said, giving the trophy a kiss.