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LeBron James: “I’ve kind of accepted this villain role”

Jan 10, 2011, 9:37 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

LeBron James was the dominant force on the court as the Heat beat the Trail Blazers Sunday in Portland. It was the kind of performance — 44 points total, 19 in the final three minutes of regulation and overtime, plus 13 rebounds — that we saw a lot of when James was a Cavalier.

Except now many hate him for it. He is the villain. He is booed at every stop.

And he’s good with that, he told the Palm Beach Post.

“I’ve grown accustomed to it,” James said. “I enjoy it.”

Early in the season, he said it was harder to deal with the booing “when you’re not as comfortable as you want to be. But right now, we’re very comfortable together. I’m very comfortable. And I’ve kind of accepted this villain role everyone has placed on me. I’m OK with it. I accept it.”

That perception may change with titles and winning. Just ask Kobe. But for now, he’s good with however you want to view him. This is different than the “What should I do?” ad campaign LeBron, he seems to be growing more comfortable with his choices and position. Winning will do that, too.

  1. heyzeus143 - Jan 10, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    you’re no Jordan, never will be, and I’m from Pgh and could care less about who wins in the NBA, all I’m saying is that Sid the Kid would never never never have done what he did

    • hnirobert3 - Jan 10, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      Are we seriously comparing LBJ to Crosby? Huh?

      • ispysomething7 - Jan 10, 2011 at 10:59 PM

        Your right, you can’t compare Sid the Kid to LeBron. Sid 1; LeBron: 0

  2. hnirobert3 - Jan 10, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Winning cures all. The media and Lakers fans have forgiven Kobe Bryant for the whole rape controversy. People are cheering for Tiger. Nobody mentions Ben’s bad decisions anymore. What did LeBron do? An ego soaked 1 hour television show that we all watched? He decided to join forces with two (okay, one) other superstars in Miami, a city that is very apathetic about sports until it’s playoff time? Who cares…

    I get that he embarrassed Cleveland, but that’s their fault for anointing a teenage their king.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 10, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      hnirobert3, for the record Kobe was always popular in Los Angeles, in the way Barry Bonds always was in San Francisco. His image rehab needed work in the rest of the country.

      • secdominance - Jan 10, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        so when people were upset they traded Shaq instead of Kobe, they still loved him?

      • hnirobert3 - Jan 10, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        And how is that not the case here? LeBron is loved in Miami and his image needs to be rehabbed everywhere else.

  3. thestudiokida - Jan 10, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    LeBron was incredible last night. He used to get knocked for not being a crunch-time player but he is now. Down 89-82 with 2 minutes remaining he brought his team back to force overtime… then outscored Portland by himself in overtime. He balled out and when he hit the long dagger 3-point shot he flexed his arms and taunted the crowd. I love it. He said “F*** YOU” to the haters and let his play on the court do his talking.

    • ispysomething7 - Jan 10, 2011 at 11:02 PM

      Just like he was incredible during the 4th quarter in the last Bucks game. How many turnovers did he have? Airballs? Expect a lot of that from LeBron. 3-4 great nights, then nights where you shake your head and say ” WTF is he doing??!!?”

  4. zblott - Jan 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    I’m not sure that LeBron understands that this villain role is really just a renaming of his very natural asshole role. If he wasn’t this famous, we wouldn’t think of him as a villain, simply a me-first asshole. That being said, he’s an amazing player (in the regular season).

  5. secdominance - Jan 10, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    you said Kobe was always loved in LA and I’m just pointing out that wasn’t case

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 10, 2011 at 1:42 PM

      It seems to me most of the post Shaq-trade hated in LA was misdirected at Mitch K. (Buss pulled the trigger on that deal, and he was right to do it.) That was about the lowest Kobe’s image was in LA but I live here and I wouldn’t say he was hated. Not by anyone who actually understood what was going on with that team.

      • anythingbutyanks - Jan 10, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        If you marginalize a certain portion of the total group that doesn’t fit your claims, then the “numbers” suddenly work in your favor! Amazing, I know. See, the question isn’t how people who “actually understood” felt, but how LA felt.

  6. thestudiokida - Jan 10, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    So zblott… how is LeBron not amazing in the post season? Averages 30 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists for his career ij post season. 2 years ago he avg an unbelievable 35-9-8. Unheard of. Jordan & Kobe never had a single post-season like that.

    I know last year he hung his head in a blowout loss but there was no way he could have won that game 5 by himself. We’ll be singing a different tune after he is the best player on a couple championship teams.

  7. willeyb296 - Jan 10, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Lebron just needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. Only then will people forget about hating this idiot.

    • ispysomething7 - Jan 10, 2011 at 11:03 PM

      Don’t worry…..when the lockout comes, people will forget about him…..

    • secdominance - Jan 10, 2011 at 11:36 PM

      so basically you want him to be a dumb jock with no opinion?

  8. progress2011 - Jan 10, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Lebron just needs to keep going to all the arena’s, putting on a show and talking smack while doing it !

    The Heat are selling out every arena they attend ! All the haters that are booing are only booing and hating because he is not on their team ! So, since they are gonna hate anyway, he should make them eat their hearts out, while beating their teams!

    If he agreed to go to ANY of the teams ( even back to Cleveland ) the fans would purchase every ticket available. The local businesses that would benefit ( sports bars, restaurants, t-shirt vendors, parking deck owners etc ) so, they would throw every penny available at the team owner, to persuade the transaction. His stock is going up with every boo !

    All the commissioner and team owners understand is ….BUTTS IN SEATS ! Which LBJ is helping the league and teams around the league accomplish.

    Factually speaking….

  9. jayzus - Jan 10, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Man this guy is sticking it in your faces an taunting you lol

  10. cordae - Jan 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    I love it lol boo him, call him an idiot and he’ll torch your favorite team IN FRONT of your face. LETS GO LBJ!!!

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