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LeBron talks about haters, his play in finals

Jun 14, 2011, 2:07 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six Getty Images

Say what you will about him, LeBron James did not shy away from the assembled media on Tuesday and took on the tough questions about his game and his post game comments.

It was those comments — saying about all the people who rooting against him “tomorrow they have to wake up and have the same life that (they had) before” — that drew a firestorm and suggested LeBron was the same arrogant guy from “The Decision” and the Heat’s pep rally.

LeBron said it was not intended like that at all. (Quotes via the twitter account of Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.)

“It wasn’t saying I’m better or superior than anyone else. I would never look at myself as bigger.”

“It was interpreted different than what I wanted…Everyone has to move on with their lives and I do, too.”

LeBron also took questions about his play in the finals, which late in the series seemed passive in the face of Dallas giving him any defensive pressure. Earlier in the day Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that all the criticism of James’ play was unfair. (To me it seems discussion and criticism of his play is the thing that is most fair, the rest is the sideshow.)

“I didn’t play up to my own standards. Did that cost us losing the Finals? I don’t know. But I’m not satisfied with my performance.”

“I could have played better… I put a lot of pressure not to let my teammates down . . . maybe to a fault at times.”

These quotes are a Rorschach test of what you think of LeBron. People will see in these quotes what they want. LeBron’s backers will say that he is humble and learned lessons from the Heat’s loss. Those who can’t stand him will say it was all just PR. The quotes really say more about what you think about LeBron than having much other insight.

In the end, the only thing that can silence those who hate him are championship rings. And LeBron understands that.

  1. ezwriter69 - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    You answer the phone, “This is The King”; you tattoo “The Chosen One” on your back, but you don’t feel superior to anyone else. Right…

    • billsfanaddict - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:25 AM

      im glad this was the 1st comment, perfect summation

    • 1historian - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      I know about the tattoo, but what is your source for his saying “this is the king”?

  2. thetooloftools - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    We gave LeBron James true devotion and LOVE in Cleveland.
    He’s learning that breasts arn’t the only thing fake in Miami…. so are their fans.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM

      Another broken hearted Cavs fan… Your town, your team’s owner, and your governor are all an embarassment. Good luck getting any kind of “decent” player on that broken franchise. Hey atleast you have the Browns.. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  3. diablito0402 - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Derrick rose is the total package,, superstar humble execpts responsibility for his bad games at 22 very mature and yet lechoke still gets a pass at a young 26,, come on apologists and bandwaggon heat fans. Please.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      Except when defended by James he shoots 6%. Give me a break, the Bulls are not evevn in the conversation at this point. Good luck making it to the finals for the next 5 years.

  4. diablito0402 - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    You say they just dont give out those MVP awards, well then lets start comparing steve nash to jordan know, huh how about that. MVP awards just dont mean squat, finals MVP is what validates someones career.

  5. diablito0402 - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Ask charles barkley or karl malone if they would trade in their seasons MVP for a finals MVP and a championship.

  6. doctore1 - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Dear Lebron

    I never realized how much of a b*tch you were until Monday night when you lost to the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas beat you fair and square for the championship. The right thing to do at the end of the game was to man-up and congratulate the Dallas players on their accomplishment. D-Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of your teammates did it. It’s called sportsmanship!

    Your punk a$$ walked off the court without ever acknowledging anyone and went straight to the looker-room to sulk like someone stole something from you.

    You will never be like Mike – to many disappearing acts on your part. Best believe Jordan would have brought it every night!

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:14 PM

      Just for the record, I know I saw LeBron give Kidd a hug, so he congratulated at least some.

      • doctore1 - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:38 PM

        He should have congratulated all the players and the coaches – that’s what a real star and class act does!

      • edweird0 - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        Yea I was just about to say, that hug has been on replay on ESPN all day….

      • goforthanddie - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:50 PM

        Wipe your chin, you missed a spot of leb.

      • vette78man - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:26 AM

        He was probably checking to see if there was a wallet to lift.

    • jam005 - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:00 PM

      MJ missed many shots and screwed up many games.

  7. chitownmatt - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    LeBron’s problem is that he actually is humble.
    He is perfectly content with who he is and what he has already achieved.

    Deep down inside, he doesn’t even feel he really needs a championship. He’s already been told by everyone for years that he is the greatest basketball player of his time. When Lebron looks in the mirror, that’s what he sees. He doesn’t need to prove it to anyone. So what good would a championship be to him?

    Maybe that will change next year, maybe it won’t.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:51 PM

      All the guy has been talking about for 8 years is winning a championship.

      Lebron is humble like Bernie Madoff was square with his clients.

      Humble people don’t insult waiters and waitresses and stiff them not only for a tip, but stiff the restaurant with the bill. Something this “humble” guy has been doing around NE Ohio for over 10 years, and the community knows it.

      • nfl25 - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:14 PM

        dude how do u see a humble person. this isnt someoen with crzay hate for lebron talking. i hate the heat for a few reasons but i dont hate lebron. he is not humble. and he really cares what people think about him. i know he says all the things that makes it sound like he doesnt care, but i c right through that. he really cares. i think d wade could care less what anyone thinks but not lebron. lebron actaully seemed humble during the last few games though, but that was likley just because he was playing poorly

  8. caldreaming - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Apparently Lame James is as dumb as he looks.

  9. Colin Zvosec - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    He still won’t take responsibility for the losses of which he played a major, negative, role in. Whether he truly believes it’s his fault or not doesn’t matter. If he considers himself the leader of the team, then he has to take responsibility for the losses. Can’t bask in the glory if you won’t take the blame.

    Dwyane wade, who’s been arrogant in his own right, came off much better in that interview. And I know Bosh gets made fun of all the time, but his post game interview was the best of the three. LeBron needs to start facing reality here. For the second year in a row, he failed his teammates. Not the other way around.

    • jam005 - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:02 PM

  10. tashkalucy - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    “”It wasn’t saying I’m superior or better than anyone else, any man or woman on this planet, I’m not. I would never ever look at myself bigger than anyone who watched our game. It may have come off wrong but that wasn’t my intent.”

    I’ve been around this guy. I’ve seen the way he acts with people when the camera’s not on.

    If you believe this you’ll believe that unemployment is at 9%, inflation is under control, new jobs are coming shortly, the debt is no problem……and an economic calamity in the US has no chance of happening in the not too distant future.

    • vette78man - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      Agreed. I know people in the service industry in Cleveland who have served him and/or his mom and their various entourages. Total cheap entitled attitude to everyone else.

  11. iowahbr - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Give the guy a break. He is a great basketball player but he does not have all the wisdom of Moses. Who does at his age? I’m not a fan of his but the media is turning him into an underdog and I may start hoping he just shuts up some of his critics as long as it’s not again at the expense of the Bulls.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:25 PM

      Why do we need to give him a break?

      He’s going to win ….4…5…6…7..and more championships.

      Did the media make him say that?

      Yes, he has no wisdom. He also has no maturity, no common sense, and a feeling that the world needs to move around for him. But he never owns up when things don’t go his way.

      If my grandkids turned out to even be a smidgen of this ass, I’d lock my children in a room and talk to them until they grew up and has some sense of responsibility.

  12. tashkalucy - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Enough of this……..

    Lebron James is very probably the biggest con artist in the whole of America. And his buds Wade, Anthony and others are not very far behind.

    You reap what you sow people. You want to buy this….well the “dummying down of America” started in the 70’s as is going stronger than ever.

    There is no difference between this guy and the Wall Streeters that crashed the economy in 2008. They’ll say and do anything but make sure the cash gets in their accounts.

    Lebron James has no character at all. He was pushed through a high school because he played basketball for them. He is as dumb as he is self-centered…..and he’s a quitter when things don’t go his way.

    America should reject this Nike built walking billboard, but who knows. Greats like Miken, Russell, Hondo, Magic, Bird, Jordan and others were players…..this guy is a shoe salesman.

    • edweird0 - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:42 PM

      Woah…. You’re comparing him to the people who brought down the world’s economy… I think you need to direct that hate somewhere else. I might agree with some of the things you said but you’re taking it too far. Its just a sport dude

      • tashkalucy - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        The mindset is the same.

        email Adrian at Yahoo Sports and ask about the legendary belittling James has done to people that he knows about.

      • edweird0 - Jun 14, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        What mindset? Don’t try to justify something because youre so personally involved. You hate him, I get it. But keep it to yourself, your taking it too far.

    • jam005 - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:08 PM

      I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
      Michael Jordan

      You dont know that much about MJ.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      See above for rediculous senseless post. Sad part is a lot of you agree. WOW!

      Cant’ wait till we hoist that trophy and shut all you haters up.. Wait then you’ll change your argument to “oh their a super team waaaaaa” just like all of you were beginning to say when they were up 2-1 in the Finals. You guys are past the rediculous stage and have swiftly moved on to the prepostorous stage. Can’t wait to see whats next.

  13. tashkalucy - Jun 14, 2011 at 6:31 PM


    If you want to talk about basketball….

    You don’t shoot a free throw left-handed in a close playoff game with a minute left on the clock. You call time-out, explain to your coaches that you’re injured, and everyone comes up with a workable plan — coaches and teammates included.

    Like this camera hog didn’t know that ESPN would replay the left-handed free throw more than a thousand times the next 24 hours.

    The guys a walking/talking Nike billboard. The highest paid shoe salesman in history.

  14. avermaver - Jun 14, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Lebron is supposed to wait until he’s retired before he reminds average sports fans how pathetic their lives are compared to his regardless of how many rings he wins. Barkley said the same thing after he retired. You don’t remind people how meaningless the spectacle they take so seriously is while they are still paying you to perform in it.

    • jam005 - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:15 PM

      LJ doesn’t owe the spectator anything. Athletes are gladiators. They can do things that many wish that they could do themselves.

  15. scorch22 - Jun 14, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    I don’t really like the character Lebron plays on TV. But I am willing to take him at his word, that he didn’t mean he was better than everyone else, or at least, after having time to cool off he realized that it wasn’t a good thing to say. That said, he could best prove this by doing some charity work, and working hard and keeping his nose clean.

  16. berbes - Jun 14, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    You’d think someone with his resources could afford a “Shut The Hell Up!” Director?

    • doctore1 - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:08 AM

      LMAO – Love it…:o)

  17. willisw - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Christian Science Monitor 7/9/2010

    “There are some clear-cut winners and clear-cut losers coming out of LeBron James’s “The Decision” Thursday night, but one chief beneficiary is being overlooked in all the buzz by sports commentators, bloggers, and NBA fans.

    It’s not James’s new team, the Miami Heat. Nor is it Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, or King James. It’s not the fans, the National Basketball Association, “the game,” or sports in general.

    Thursday night’s indisputable champion is the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which stands to collect as much as $2.5 million from the advertising proceeds of the ESPN prime-time special.

    It’s a charitable gesture that went largely unnoticed – and that may serve to deflect criticism of the James-ESPN “ploy” to reveal the NBA star’s team choice during a live, hour-long special on ESPN TV and radio during prime time. Critics berated both the player and the network for brazenly cashing in on the sports world’s curiosity – and, indeed, ESPN squeezed in every commercial it could before the announcement.

    Finally, at 9:27 p.m., nearly 15 minutes further into “The Decision” than the network had promised, came the moment many fans had been anticipating since the NBA season ended. “This fall, I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat,” said the NBA superstar, who at 25-years-young already has a substantial legacy, including becoming the most coveted free agent in sports history.

    And with that sentence uttered, millions of TVs and radios across the US turned off or tuned elsewhere.

    But arguably the best news of the night came nearly a half-hour later – almost 10 minutes after the one-hour special was slated to have ended.

    In a plan initiated and unveiled by James, all proceeds from ads sold for the broadcast – expected to be between $2 million and $2.5 million – will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Several minutes later, one of the show’s sponsors, the University of Phoenix, announced it would make a separate donation – five full-tuition scholarships – to the organization.

    About an hour before the broadcast began, the University of Phoenix also donated four of its scheduled ad spots to the Boys and Girls Clubs, so BGCA could air its own advertisements, says Frank Sanchez, vice president of sports, entertainment, and alumni relations for the nonprofit youth organization. BGCA would not have been able to air a commercial during the show otherwise, he says. The group does not pay for its own advertising; all ad spots are donated.

    “We cannot be thankful enough for LeBron and the sponsors,” he said in a phone interview Friday. “As a fundraising opportunity, it was one of our most significant contributions, and it all happened within one hour.””

  18. larsonjs - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:04 AM

    Statement feels like a PR team wrote it. I think LBJ is at a critical time in his career and please don’t forget, he brought this on himself. His decision, the Miami heat pre-season celebration of their 8 championship rings. He turned this in to an all or nothing season and so it is nothing. Miami fans can paint the target after shooting the arrow all they want, but Lebron set the stage by pronouncing himself the king and accepting the worship from his fans, before he accomplished a thing.

    I don’t hate Lebron. I don’t know him, never met him. He could be a really nice guy – I just don’t know. What does bother me is people who have a sense of entitlement that is so great that they expect that everything should fall in place for them, and then they are totally blown away when it doesn’t happen. I love hard work. I love people earning their creds, I don’t like it when people are given titles before they’ve earned anything.I thought that about Michelle Wie in golf. Her stupid, “I’m going to play in the Masters” comments made it seem like she had no clue as to how hard it is to play in the PGA.

    Lebron is a fine basketball player. He is not great, because the great ones rise in the pressure time and every year, he has done just the opposite. He may be the best regular season player ever, but I don’t think that is the definition of greatness. Don’t judge a man by his skills or his physical gifts; judge a man by his performance. So far, Lebron has fallen short.

  19. billsfanaddict - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    havent u mentioned the leborn – rorsach thing a few different times? ru tryin to write a book or drill the idea in our heads that we’re all automatically prejudgemental?
    It a combination, sure hes a lil more humbled (technically hes gotta be) but most of his main points were either vague pr fluff or flat out false.

  20. vette78man - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:34 AM

    “I’m not superior to anyone. Everyone else is just inferior.”

  21. 1historian - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    From the anonymity, yea verily the SAFETY of cyberspace comes the cacophony of hate for LeBron.

    Granted that show last summer ‘The decision’ was about as dumb as it gets. He has acknowledged it and has apologized for it more than once.

    Q1: How many of you out there watched that show and – about 59 minutes 58 seconds into it – realized you had been had? (No – I didn’t watch it)
    Q2: How dumb is that?

    To repeat – he has acknowledged numerous times how dumb the show was and has apologized for it.

    This guy was raised by a teenage mother, basically never knew his father, has been told since a very young age that he was ‘the chosen one’ – hence the tattoo, which is VERY DUMB – and has never really had much guidance. I think he looks like an ok guy who is doing his best.

    Once he signed the big 3 Riley basically had to go to a fire sale to get the rest of the roster, aside from Halem, and you can bet he will find the right guys over the next year or so to compliment the big 3.

    I hate to say this but the Heat WILL be back.

    Next year – Miami in 6 over Oklahoma City

  22. RyanFeet - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Ok, so here’s the real deal about Lebron. In my oppinion, he has always been way overated. The media has hyped him up to be world’s greatest player, comparing him Jordan and some other greats, but I think not even close. Here’s why… the problem today with most players is that they dont play tough, dedicated defense on a consistent basis, especially during the regular season. The majority of Lebron’s scoring happens when there are very weak defensive efforts, allowing him too many opportunities with his physical ability to drive the lanes and dunk. Dallas has played great defense against him and you saw the result… he was reduced to an average player. Give Dallas MUCH credit for playing great defense. Also, If most teams played tough defense all your long against him he would be an average player, all year. Players back in the Jordan era, actually played tough defense against him, and he always rose to the occasion by doing the right thig at the right tme. Remember back to when the Knick played the Bulls? C’mon, you cant even compare defensive effort and attitude in players now with what we had back in the day. No matter what defense they through up against Jordan he was unstoppable, whether it be the perrfect pass, the dunk or the critical game winning jump shot, he rose to the occasion. And yes, he was also an all time great defensve player.

  23. lynv1961 - Jun 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    From a woman point of view, (assuming majority of comments are fr. gentlemen)
    I have been reading all comments re. LeBron James and most are negatives.
    I see lots of hatred toward Lebron & some defending him
    I see lots of comments on Mavericks won 2011 Championship but still second fiddle to Heat
    Here my 2 cents:
    I live in Dallas, MAVS’ fan, went with husband to Miami on his business trips twice earlier this year. Yes, Miami is a very beautiful city, at night, with all the lights, tall buildings, yatch, private jets, etc. South Beach…went there, not really impress.
    Each and everyone have the right to post his/comments, be it for or against the MAVS or Heat.
    I love Dallas, why? We have all major sport teams here, not to mention Super Bowl was played here earlier this year.
    Does Lebron deserves all negative comments: yes and no. Reason: majority of pro athelics have ego the size of TX. Humble, humility, team players (except for tennis), learn from your experience, do not blast your fans or the team that just beat you in your own home. A great team player do not look to his team mate when asked if “did you choked”.
    No: all comments will make Lebron more egomaniac, foot in the mouth, child’s pout/tandrum when he did not get his way. Most importantly, it will go on and on all about Lebron. See how many have googled Lebron versus the Mavs’s players.
    I understand Lebron is what? 26? still have alot of growing up. Heck, my son (also 26 yrs old) and my husband still have to do that.
    I try not to be bias, but, Mavs well deserve the championship. Heat played well but not as a team. Perhaps “too much heat” made them brain malfunction.
    All the nick names given to Lebron, to be honest, make ones’ a child, just like Lebron.
    I DVR all playoffs games and can give you the stats, points, interviews, etc.
    However, all said and done: when you fall, pick yourself up. When you blundered, correct with simple reply/comments. For any one given problem, there are many solutions. Learn and learn as I am still learning. And yes, after the Mavs won, I woke up with the same issues/problems. I, however embrace my mistakes and try to find a solution.
    Private note to Lebron: if my son actions were like yours, I’d smack him in the head for being disrespectful.
    Well, not 2 cents comment. 20 cents maybe?

  24. berbes - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    i LIKE this lady +1! lebron needs PR folk like you in his entourage instead of his high school ‘pals’. put me down as a reference.

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