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LeBron: “I can understand why a lot of people were upset”

Nov 21, 2011, 8:26 PM EDT

Not shown: hair on LeBron's forehead. AP

LeBron James understands where you are coming from, you haters.

He’s backtracked from how he handled “The Decision” for some time now, said he wouldn’t want to change the choice but does wish he had gone about it differently. He and those around the announcement thought the show was all for a good cause, not seeing the wider reaction to an hour show talking about where he would play basketball (and ripping the heart out of Cleveland on national television).

He said basically the same thing to the Guardian in London, adding he understands the anger people had now.

Was James taken aback by the ferocious criticism of his screening of “The Decision”? “Um, yeah. I was surprised by it because I was making a decision for myself. I was doing something that I believed was going to make me happy and freshen me up. But looking back I can understand why a lot of people were upset. That definitely wasn’t my intention: to upset people.”

Does he wish he could change what he did in the summer of 2010? “I can’t say I would change anything – because it would change so much that is leading to the future. But, yeah, there is definitely a better way I could have handled it, as far as the whole TV thing is concerned, and the same goes for the build-up to the announcement. A lot of people were hurt by it – and I definitely apologize to them. At the same time, you should never be afraid to do what you believe in.”

This is really a good interview and you should go read the whole thing. Especially if you are a Liverpool fan.

LeBron is becoming much more polished with his interviews. He talked about the lockout but steers clear of stepping in that land mine by being pretty dull. He also talks about losing in the 2011 NBA finals and how that will help him going forward whenever there is a season.

When did he get over the loss? “A couple of days ago,” he says, laughing wryly. “It stayed with me a couple of months. It was definitely heartbreaking. [But] I really believe it’s made me a better player. And I’m a better person as well for it – just in terms of focusing harder, zeroing in even more. It’s made me critique my game and work out who I am as a person. We faced a great team in Dallas and I don’t think enough people gave them the credit they deserve.”

We’ll see how much that loss helped LeBron and the Heat. Actually, I just hope we get to test that hypothesis this season.

  1. packymalley - Nov 21, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    If LeBron doesn’t say anything stupid he is immediately praised as being more mature.

    • dirkified - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      LeBron only has a HS education level. People need to give him a break about how he talks\acts. If you stopped your education at 18 and handed millions of dollars, you would act\talk the sameway.

  2. beerjunkie - Nov 21, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Screw the NBA!!

  3. readysethike - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    People still wanna talk about the descision?

    • cosanostra71 - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

      no, but the media does

    • eazye76 - Nov 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      Evidently people still want to click on stories that are obviously about The Decision.

  4. barklikeadog - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    A lot of people were hurt by it – and I definitely apologize to them. At the same time, you should never be afraid to do what you believe in.”
    At the same time us the same as ‘but’ and whatever is said after the ‘but’ makes him an ass!

    In other words: F U Cleveland! I was only doing what’s best for me!

    Still a boob!

  5. explosionsauce - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    “I can’t say I would change anything – because it would change so much that is leading to the future.”

    Lebron would be a just and fair time traveler.

    • southbeachtalent - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      He is very aware of the space-time continuum.

  6. Chris K - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Wait…why would I like this if I were a liverpool fan?

  7. jonka - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    He got over the loss a couple days ago?
    Lebron began partying a couple of days after the finals.
    Not to mention all of summer

  8. bearsstillsuck - Nov 22, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    James will be the Marino of basketball. he’ll play really well and set personal records, but he will never win the big one.

    • mondogarage - Nov 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      He’ll have to shred his Achilles, as well, if he’s planning on living up to Marino.

      Of course, truth is, he never can. Because Marino never bailed on his original team, even when they were coming up short around him.

  9. asublimeday - Nov 22, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    His mind is broken. He crumbles when it counts. MJ and Kobe have the killer instinct, he does not.

  10. 1historian - Nov 22, 2011 at 6:57 AM

    He went where he thought he would do best and be happiest – his right.
    He made a HUGE mistake in how he went about making that decision public.
    He realized the error, acknowledged it and has publicly apologized for it I don’t-know-how-many times.

    Get over it

    I realize that is impossible for a lot of you but that’s your FAULT, not your problem anymore.

    • stoutfiles - Nov 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM

      Most people are over it, but it doesn’t change the fact that LeBron is a boob. The best part of no NBA is not having to watch everyone on ESPN jerk off to his highlight reel dunks against the Bucks or Bobcats or all the other small, shitty teams that have no chance of ever going into the finals.

  11. Gordon - Nov 22, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    He’s such a douche.

  12. BrownsTown - Nov 22, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Kurt hearts LeBron.

  13. lphboston - Nov 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    Like it or not, James is responsible for the NBA being in the fix it’s in right now.

    The league takes part of the blame for marketing stars and making sure the refs call the game to benefit the big names, but when a fanchise (like Cleveland) can be destroyed because its one star likes the party scene somewhere else, the owners have to do something.

    The biggest joke is James being praised for taking less money to play in Miami. First, he already has all the money he needs for the rest of his life. Second, in his next contract Miami will make up for that (unless the owners stand firm on a hard salary cap).

    And I agree 100 percent with one of the other posters here — why is the ball-washing author of the story praising this narcissistic jerk every time he says something that isn’t flat-out stupid?

    • trueballs - Nov 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      You can’t say the lockout is because of James. can….but I would strongly disagree. This battle has been in the making for over 3 years. Small market owners have been ready for this for a long time, basically ever since they signed the old CBA.

      LeBron did nothing wrong. He was a free agent! Blame Carmelo for holding his team hostage and demanding a trade and a max contract. James played by the rules and gave up 20mil for a greater goal. It’s actually something that fans dream about.

  14. mgscott - Nov 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    The best thing Lechoke could do is shut his trap and show up in a 4th quarter of any game that means something.

  15. Jeff - Nov 22, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    He still hasn’t won me over.
    I thought he was overhyped from the beginning. Then I saw him play live and understood.
    Then he does the show, leaves Cleveland, etc., and he lost all the good will I had for him.
    He’s disappointing.

  16. jfinn5 - Nov 23, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    James could be a big name in negotiating a CBA but he is worried about making Nike upset.

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