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Reflective LeBron admits he was “immature” last year

Jun 20, 2012, 4:08 PM EDT

LeBron James AP

MIAMI — This was a different LeBron James.

The LeBron James that went through practice and spoke with the media Wednesday was different from the one at last year’s finals — a more mature, more relaxed LeBron who was comfortable in his own skin in a way he simply was not before. Different than the guy from “the decision.”

A reflective LeBron recognized the changes in himself.

“Last year after Game 6, after losing once again, I was very frustrated,” LeBron said. “I was very hurt that I let my teammates down, and I was very immature.

“Like I said, last year I played to prove people wrong instead of just playing my game, instead of just going out and having fun and playing a game that I grew up loving and why I fell in love with the game. So I was very immature last year after Game 6 toward you guys and toward everyone that was watching.”

LeBron said that last year he felt the pressure, but this time around it is not getting to him.

“Last year (the pressure) was much more than today,” James said. “I remember being Game 5 last year with the series tied 2-2, it just felt like more pressure, felt like it was more people here, felt like you guys (in the media) not only brought yourselves but brought your relatives all to Dallas. It just seemed more.

“And I may be wrong. I probably am wrong about that. But I’m just more comfortable. I think just me being more comfortable and me just trying to seize my opportunity.”

He gets his first chance to seize the Larry O’Brien trophy on Thursday.

LeBron also said that he felt “a lot better” than he did the night before after his legs cramped up in the fourth quarter. He expects to be ready to go full tilt Thursday night.

  1. jeffw - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    A massage and an IV during halftime of Game 5 should go a long way to helping bring home the Championship trophy!

  2. southpaw77 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Pretty easy to feel good and be mature when you’re ahead. If he was down 3-1 and got eliminated we’d see the same immature tendencies. He’d skip the press conference, not shake hands and probably hide in the locker room like when he played at Cleveland the 2nd time and skipped the intros so he wouldn’t be booed.

    We only see how mature you are Lebron when you lose and are down, that’s a test of a mans character and frankly he’s failed there everytime. So celebrate and pop champagne tomorrow and talk your phony nonsense.

    • reesesteel23 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Lol way to turn positivity a** backwards. No matter what he does..he cant win. You mad?

    • truthhurtstoo - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      hey moron- keep hating and your life will continue to be worthless. People can grow up, remember these players are still very young and your comments show your immurity. No one cares what YOU think

    • skids003 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      I agree with southpaw. He’s a petulant child, happy as long as he’s getting his way. You guys and Kurt must be getting paid to kiss his rump.

      • gmen4life33 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        He might be immature, but he has grown. It hurts to say because I hate him, but he is different. Last year he was living in MIA by himself, watching Sportscenter and reading every article written about him, tweeting “now or never” at 3 AM before a game (shows you his mind wasnt right), and trying to be a villan.

        Now, hes engaged living with family, only reads real books (nothing from the media), goes to bed early, and is playing ball how it comes naturally to him. I wish he was still the insecure LBJ he was last year during the Finals, but it looks like he finally gets it. Sucks big time.

        Watching Harden play right now reminds me exactly of LBJ last year. Neither one of them wants/wanted the ball late in the game. Harden will mature too, but can he do it by Thursday lol?

    • eddiecrash1976 - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      when you wake up on Friday your life will be the same boring life, fortunately not for Lebron and the Heat. And what are you exactly a Souhtpaw of? Too many Rocky movies dude, get a life.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      soooooooo you took the time to make up some theoretical BS about “if’s” when the present day fact are in the NOW.

      Guess this is all LeBron haters have to resort too, next year when he wins his 2nd ring …. they will be talking about “IF” he lost what he would do. LMAO pathetic.

      LeBron this year:

      League MVP
      1st team defense (runner-up for DOY)
      1st 45 15 5 game since 1964
      Boston game 6 … wow
      NBA finals MVP
      Championship Ring

      But thank you southpaw77 for telling us a bunch of fantasy storylines … wake up to the reality.

      • 808raiderinparadise - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        Left out that he led his team in points/reb/assists/steals all yr

        Wade had blocks category.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    I wouldn’t consider myself a Lebron fan, but I’m happy this guy isn’t rotting away in Cleveland and has a chance to win big in this league. He’s a legendary talent, and the bandwagon of hate circling this guy can crash and burn for all I care.

    • finalword33 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      Exactly. Cleveland didn’t make him. He made Cleveland.

      • namriverrat69 - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM

        Actually Cleveland had some talent around him when he gagged at the finals. They were committed to building a championgship team around him but he wanted to go to a higher value market. He then had that gross disgusting gauche party for himself on TV where he dissed Cleveland and was “in your face NBA” over his decision with Lebron, Wade and Bosh going off that they were going to win 5-6 or 7 championships. All they had to do was mail them in. Hah, it’s not as easy as they thought.l They might win this year. Next year the Bulls will be a lot stronger and so will the Thunder. If they win one, who cares.

        I’m more of a hockey fan. After watching kockey players get slashed in the face and get 15-25 stitches in the dressing room or get a broken bloddy nose and come right back out sometimes not missing a shift makes me think what a pussy Lebron is over his little old cramp. Boo Hoo!

      • finalword33 - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM

        You’re a hockey fan, because you like guys with their teeth knocked out. I wonder why. There probably aren’t too many hockey players that Lebron couldn’t out-muscle.

    • southpaw77 - Jun 23, 2012 at 2:00 AM

      Boy the front runners are out, they were probably Kobe/Lakers fans a few years back and jumping on the next mans d*ck. We all know Miami doesn’t have real fans in that city so u tell me.
      Please stop that Cleveland didn’t do anything, you people don’t know squat about bball.

      The Cavs tanked around 2003 like every bottom feeder does and got lucky and got the home state phenom. The supposed chosen one was gonna end the drought of no Cleveland titles but, what ended up happening was a process, they had to build from a lottery team to playoff team and that takes years. Every year the Cavs and Gilbert went OVER the cap to appease Lebron. They tried bringing in Ray Allen or Michael Redd around 2006 but what free agent would come here since LBJ would never committ long term to the team. Every free agent from Artest to Ariza wanted one thing before they signed in Cleveland and that was to know, Lebron are you staying, then I’ll sign there and guess what, he wouldn’t answer them. This guy blew off phone calls from Tom Izzo when the Cavs went looking for a coach in 2010.

      The Cavs were gonna have tons of cap space in the summer of 2010 but ate it up by going for the win it all now so Lebron doesn’t leave and they traded for Shaq to stop Dwight. Then acquired Jamison’s huge contract so the Cavs could have a stretch power forward. It didn’t work but to say they didn’t try is false.

      The Cavs stink now, well no sh*t. Every major free agent signed by the time Lebron made his “decision” so they were left with bare bones and decided to bottom out and build thru the draft like OKC.

      This aint hating or whatever u losers wanna call it but facts as how it happened.

  4. jumpman2325 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Down 2-1 to Indiana, and he seemed to handle that pretty maturely. Down 3-2 to Boston, he handled that pretty well too. After losing Game 1 of the Finals, he stepped up and answered the call. The man has admitted his mistakes, and quite frankly his mistakes seem quite small in comparison to the mistakes that many of the other players in this league make.

  5. captainwisdom8888 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    This notion that Lebron is an awful, conceded individual should be left for the “non-fans” to toil with…they’re not so much interested in the game anyway. Lets remind ourselves to evaluate Lebron more heavily upon his ability to play the game, not his overall behavioral standards.

    The media created this super-villain out of Lebron to draw more interest to the NBA amongst the audiences who don’t care as much for the actual game being played…just the soap opera surrounding it.

    • scalfor3 - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      whoa whoa whoa…lebron has done plenty to vilify himself over the years. the hatred of him wasn’t a “media creation”

      • slopmcflop - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Done plenty?

        What is one thing James has done, outside of the terrible “Decision” idea, that has made him worthy of being villified?

        I’m not sure if it’s because he came to the league as a teenager or what, but people have had outlandish expectations of this guy since he came into the league. They all expect him to act a certain way, to perform at a certain level, to basically be a basketball robot. But it doesn’t work that way. He’s a human being, and any time he acts like one, or acts in a manner outside of someones unreal expectations of the guy, they get all in a huff about it and go on about how he’s the anti christ.

        The guy can literally do no right with a huge percentage of the sports following population for reasons I will never understand. He ain’t yo daddy, he didn’t leave you to grow up solo with just yo momma and a cardboard box, so why the hell does everyone resent him so much?

        All he is, is one hell of a basketball player. Nothing more, nothing less. Get it through your petty little skulls people.

      • bougin89 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:56 PM

        slopmcflop…For one you can start with the comment he made(and is now apologizing for) last year.

        I give Lebron alot of credit for manning up and apologizing. What he said last year was incredibly immature but now he is man enough to apologize, I can respect that.

    • southpaw77 - Jun 23, 2012 at 2:19 AM

      Where have u been? Want other examples? Fine.

      1. Walked off after being eliminated by Orlando in 2009 and didn’t shake hands and skipped the post game press conference.
      2. Threw Mo Williams under the bus by saying it was Rondo who destroyed their point guard in the 2010 playoffs.
      3. Never answered any calls from impending free agents who would come to Cleveland. If he simply said he was sticking in Cleveland long term they coulda lured Ray Allen or Michael Redd around 2006 or Artest or Ariza in 2009 and there are many others. He also didn’t answer Tom Izzo’s calls when the Cavs were in the hunt for a new coach in 2010. That’s low class.
      4. Refer to yourself in 3rd person. “Maybe these people aren’t fans of LeBron James”. Wait are you the rock and a wwe wrestler or something?
      5. Skipped intros when they played at Cleveland the 2nd time. His excuse? He was using the bathroom, really? Or afraid to be booed.
      6. After they lost to Dallas in the finals he says “everyone can wake up and go back to their pathetic lives tomorrow and they’ll be the same person as the day before”.. What an elitist/stuck up attitude.
      7. Bad tipper- supposedly one of the cheapest tippers. This isn’t bball related but u wanted examples.
      8. Said after he left Cleveland that “Cleveland high school kids looked down on Akron kids because they were a bigger city and that to this day he still hates some people in Cleveland”.. Really? Keeping grudges over high school crap? Grow up dude, Cleveland carried his high school games and kissed his rump the whole time, until he left.
      9. Didn’t thank the city of Cleveland when he left for 7 great years. Not until Amare took out a newspaper ad thanking Phoenix, that Lebron copied that and did the same.
      10. Quit on the Cavaliers in game 5 of the 2010 playoffs. Up 2-1 in the series he shoots just 14 times in a critical game 5. Why? Oh yeah, that fake elbow injury that he never got an MRI on.

      U want more reasons? It is what is, the guy was a phony. U can jump on the bandwagon but any true bball fans won’t cheer for a phony, respect the talent but we don’t gotta kiss his rump like you front runners and johnny come latelys who were probably Laker/Kobe fans a few years back.

  6. 6thsense79 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    It’s rare in life and amongst public figures to have someone be self reflective and admit they were wrong. I’m not talking about a player who gets caught doing something wrong like drunk driving or steroids….I’m talking about someone who doesn’t do anything illegal per se but is just reflective of his own actions and that is something to be commended. Not rediculed…..I’m looking at you southpaw77.

  7. rodge1 - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Don’t be upset at southpaw, skids003, cantonbitch13, and the other haters. They don’t really hate LeBron, they just hate their own pathetic lives. What else could explain these women commenting such ignorant things for attention on EVERY Heat or LeBron article? So sad. They remind me of scorned-psycho-ex-girlfriends.
    Attention southpaw, skids003, and cantonbitch13: It’s ok ladies, there are plenty of fish in the sea…

  8. pmd5319 - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    I’m a LeBron fan, just wanted to put it on the record. I’m so sick of the back and forth about him. If you like and support him, that’s great. If you don’t like him and root against him, that’s fine too. I just don’t understand why people go crazy over this. The people that don’t like him say he disappears in big games (Boston in 2010, Dallas in 2011), they don’t like him for “The Decision”, and don’t like the way he carries himself (“You’ll still have the same life tomorrow…”, etc). People that do like him remember Detroit in ’07, 40+ multiple times against Orlando and Boston, the millions of $ “The Decision” raised for the Boys and Girls Club of America, and generally like the way he carries himself. Guess what people, BOTH SIDES ARE RIGHT. He DID no-show against Boston and Dallas and he DID carry the Cavs and Miami this year on his back (not to championships, but deep playoff runs). “The Decision” WASN’T the right way to go about leaving Cleveland. “The Decision” DID raise millions for charity. He HAS said some regrettable things, and he HAS been a good citizen (no arrest, off court issues, etc). Please people, please stop going crazy about this. The people who don’t like him have every right to not like him, I won’t lose any sleep over it, and people who don’t like him shouldn’t care if others do.

    Enough is enough. I’m hoping there is a tiny bit of rational thinking left in the sports world. Everything doesn’t have to be the best or the worst. In fact, 99.9% of the time, it’s neither.

    • bearsrulepackdrool - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      So you went crazy to tell people about the points that they should stop going crazy about?!

      You do know “fan” is short for “fanatic.”

      With fans comes haters. It’s just a way of life.

      • pmd5319 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:48 PM

        True, and I am aware of the orgins of the word fan. Guess I just wanted people to spend their time arguing over something that’s actually worth arguing about. Even the LBJ haters know he’s good, they just don’t like him, the person.

    • sal11 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      Brilliant comment pmd. I’d love for Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith to read this comment; I feel they wouldn’t be able to get through it without blood spurting out of their ears.

  9. SteelyMcBeam6 - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    People that hate Lebron will always find something negative to say. They say he chokes in big games, hes been avg 30+. They say he’s immature, the bigger the pressure the better he’s been playing. They say hes overrated, he scores 30 points while defending 4 positions. People that hate will always hate no matter what facts you put in front of them because they are all emotion and zero perspective. Just let them be.

  10. harris1271 - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Lebron is thinking in the words from K West…….There’ll always be haters, that’s the way it is
    Hater dudes marry hater chicks and have hater kids! ……..I just hope you haters don’t have kids…stop passing that terrible trait down to the next generation. That mess really needs to stop!!!!

  11. blakspartan - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I’m not a heat fan, but I always admired lebron game, just got frustrated to see him not take over in games when a win was needed. But I’m glad to see him post up, attack the basket, instead of settling for long range fade aways. And wow why do some of you people hate him, for what he is doing on the court or off the court. You have players in the league with criminal records or sitting on the bench getting overpaid. And you all hate this man because??????!??

    • pmd5319 - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      Because it’s not as much fun to say, “I hate Marvin Williams” or to say, “Man, Quincy Poindexter is a bum” or “I’ll never forgive Carlos Boozer for leaving Cleveland” (which, by the way, in some regards was worse than the way LBJ left,
      Boozer had promised the team he was re-signing, but back to the point). Its just not fun to say, nor does it get the same reaction. Not a hater, just attempting to look at it from a haters point of view.

    • 1historian - Jun 21, 2012 at 6:35 AM

      hate = envy

  12. southbeachtalent - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Am I in a parrallel universe? One where there are rational posters on PBT?

  13. diablito0402 - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Imature last year, and the previous 8!!!

  14. packhawk04 - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    I hope he heat win. Good to see lebron admit what we all knew. Hes played great in these playoffs, acted professionally win or lose, he deserves a ring.

  15. namriverrat69 - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    So, Lebron has matured in his basketball game. He is still a “Big Zero” intelectually his selfishness shows no bounds. Everything is still all about him. What do you expect – he got carried through high school – probably with a 9th grade education just like these Bball academies that develop talent but they can’t pass the SAT. Then they go to Europe for a year and come back to a place liike, let’s just say, a place like Milwaukee. Just because a player is 27-28 years old doesn’t mean he is a man. Sometimes he is just a big dumb kid who has learned how to win at basketball then is broke wihtin 20 years with 5-6 kids from 4-5 mothers. Overall, BFD, who really cares about them then.

  16. blakspartan - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    @namriverratt no one gives a damn about hockey, it’s boring as hell compared to basketball if you want to comment about hockey then go to hockey news story,

  17. detroitcityryda - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    He just saying that cuz he’s up 3-1 if he was down 3-1 he would be the same bron bron from last year and you the media that’s riding his jock now would be so happy to bury him again heck I would too but he did play hard against Boston without bosh and wade non existent )and finally deserves His ring .next year thunder will only get stronger and heat older once it all falls down lbjs shoulder with wade losing effect and getting old he will turn to brick James .this is the only ring he will get for the rest of his career .

  18. trimaster1 - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    The best way for Lebron to silence the haters is to win multiple championships. Period.

    What many do NOT want to accept is he has the skills to do it. Will he? Time will tell. But don’t be surprised if he does…

    • lyndseymarieee - Jun 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      It doesn’t matter how many championships he may or may not win, that man will always have haters. Until the end of his career, there will be people that hate him. Sad truth of the tale.

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