Mike James heard it when he signed with the Mavericks back in January.

Heck, he heard it two or three years ago.

People were convinced then that he was done as an NBA player.

“They keep trying to tell me that I’m not able to play this game, that the game has passed me by,” James said after Sunday’s 113-108 win over Utah. “It’s not about proving (anything). But I’m out there having a great time.”

He was out there throwing in a season-best 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting against the Jazz. He hit three of his four 3-point attempts and had five assists.

The Mavericks now are 8-3 with James as a starter and he’s got 91 assists as a Maverick to just 37 turnovers.

Not bad for a 37-year-old guy who most people scoffed at when the Mavericks signed him.

“Attitude. Fearless. His ability to make shots,” said Vince Carter in analyzing what James has brought to the Mavericks. “He’s been in big games before. He’s not afraid to take the shot or guard the best guard. He’s seasoned. I think he’s done a great job taking on the role. He pushes it in practice.”

Coach Rick Carlisle rolled the dice three weeks ago in putting James in the starting lineup. While Darren Collison hasn’t been thrilled with it, it’s been the right move for what the Mavericks need.

“He’s in tremendous shape for his age and he competes,” Carlisle said of James. “He’s a gamer.

“The thing I like about him, he’s one of these guys who has great experience and great confidence in himself. And if there are blunt things you need to say to him, you can be completely straightforward with him. He’ll take everything the right way and he’ll keep battling his butt off. That’s what I like.