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Isiah Thomas: People don’t like LeBron because he’s successful

Oct 3, 2011, 10:02 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six Getty Images

Say what you want about Isiah Thomas — and we’ve said plenty over the years — the man knows about being disliked. He was the best player on the “bad boy” Pistons teams. You’ll be hard pressed to find people around the old CBA league that speaks well of him. And then there’s the entire city and state of New York.

So I guess that gives him some kind of authority to speak about not being liked.

Right now, nobody is hated around the NBA like LeBron James and the Miami Heat. And Thomas said he knows why, reports our own Ira Winderman, writing for the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“It kind of comes with the territory when you’re really good,” Thomas said. “Nobody cares about the loser. Everybody likes the loser.

“Some people are not going to like you because you are successful and I think LeBron has been extremely successful since high school and Wade has been successful and I think those guys will continue to be successful. And with their success, there are going to be some people who are upset with that.”

Um, I’m not sure that’s it. I think it’s more about how LeBron put a shank in the back of Cleveland like it was a prison fight, did that on national television, then was seen acting care-free at a wild pep rally in Miami 48 hours later talking about seven rings. It’s not LeBron’s success, or even making a move to Miami that was totally within his rights (if you’re mad about him even going to Miami, and you’re not from Cleveland, you’re wrong), it’s about how he did it. It left people with a bad taste.

Thomas is the coach of college team in Miami, one who is hosting a big Nike/LeBron charity game next Saturday, so you know he’s going to stick up for LeBron now. It’s all about how you see LeBron from your perspective.

I’m just not sure Thomas’ perspective matches most of the nations. Not sure it ever has.

  1. ogre2010 - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    I’m a African American male and I am always wanting anyone being successful, especially another African American Male. However, LeBron made this situation himself and the reason why people ‘hate’ him was the way he carried himself. I remember when Shaq left the Magic, he didn’t go network and made it about him. I respect him for that but LBJ did it another way. So that’s my take on it Zeke

  2. asublimeday - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    “(if you’re mad about him even going to Miami, and you’re not from Cleveland, you’re wrong)”

    What he did was bad for the NBA and his arrogance and personality are bad for sports. He is a douche all-around and everybody outside of Miami has every right to hate him

    You’re a jerk for trying to tell people how to feel. Write the articles and report the news. Nobody cares about your opinion.

  3. passerby23 - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    I’m sorry, but Isiah’s logic makes no sense here. Why is it that Lebron is universally hated and Wade is not if success is what breeds dislike? Why is Dirk not disliked? Why not Kevin Durant? Success has NOTHING to do with disliking Lebron. Lebron was the darling of the league a couple seasons ago in Cleveland. Were people upset with Wade’s success when he won a ring in 2006? Of course not. Isiah is being ridiculous.

  4. buttercheck - Oct 3, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    LBJ landed the first man on the moon and people can’t stand him for that. He was the first presid–eh? Who? Ohhhhhh! Yeah, I guess he’d be an LBJ too, huh? LBJ sells Happy meals to kids! He RULES!

  5. cosanostra71 - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    I don’t like LeBron because I see him as an arrogant, entitled prick. I didn’t like him on the Cavs, I don’t like him on the Heat and I won’t like him on whatever team he goes ring chasing with next. You always say winning will change people’s opinion of him but I can’t disagree more. If he continues to be an arrogant a-hole while he’s winning, it will only make people dislike him more. If he wants to change people’s opinion of him, he should just shut up and play. Let his basketball do the talking, and that should be enough, because he happens to be a pretty good basketball player.

  6. ragdraggo - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    What??? LeBron James has been “successful”??? Where does Isiah get that from? I mean, take a look at LeBron’s career record! He has won “0” NBA Championships while with the Cavaliers, and he has won “0” NBA Championships while with Miami Heat! It may be true that (for the most part) LeBron’s NBA teams have finished over .500 in regular season, and usually make the playoffs! But thing is, before an NBA player can be labeled “Successful”, he has to have acquired at least one “Championship Ring.” LeBron has failed to do that. Now Dirk Nowitzky is someone who has become “Successful”,, LeBron has NOT and there’s no indicator on the horizon he will ever be successful soon. To say that LeBron has been successful is like saying the Philadelphia Eagles have achieved the ultimate NFL success!

  7. barklikeadog - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Uhhh, people hate him because he’s an a-hole – period!

  8. BrownsTown - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Can Kurt ever get off of LeBron’s jock? Lord help the man should the season be cancelled.

  9. jimeejohnson - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Haters gonna hate. Always have, always will.

  10. jimsjam33 - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Let’s see , ” People didn’t like Magic Johnson , Michael Jordan and Larry Bird because they were successful . ” Sorry Isiah , but this dog doesn’t bark . Now on the other hand , people don’t like you because of some pretty awful things you said and done .
    Did you ever apoligize to Larry Bird ? Did you ever make amends with the ladies at the New Knick front office ? Hey , just go away . Do something positive liking coaching kids and do it quitely . Leave LeBron alone and leave the pysch evalutions to the people who are paid to do that stuff . Your time has come and gone . Please close the door on the way out .

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