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After complaining about it previously, LeBron says he’s looking forward to physical play from the Bulls

Apr 14, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Miami Heat's James holds his face after a play as Chicago Bulls' Boozer looks on, during their NBA basketball game in Chicago

The Heat will host the Bulls on Sunday, in what will be the NBA’s lone nationally televised contest of the day. It’s a revenge game for Miami of sorts, after the Bulls snapped the Heat’s 27-game winning streak in Chicago back on March 27.

It isn’t known at this point whether the Heat, who have rested LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and others at various times over the past week or so, will even bother to be at full strength. But if Miami does play all of its starters, count James among those that will be looking forward to the challenge.

After the two teams met in Chicago, LeBron got plenty of attention for remarks he made afterward about the physical nature of the way the Bulls defended him. The league even issued a retroactive upgrade to one of the fouls the Bulls committed on James, likely based on those comments.

LeBron has changed his tune, however, in advance of the rematch on Sunday.

From Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida:

LeBron James not worried about facing Bulls on Sunday after he complained last month about their physical play.

“I expect nothing less than physical,’’ James said. “Everything the whole game will be physical. If it’s guided toward me, if it’s guided toward everyone, I look forward to it.’’

And that’s the right response.

The Bulls, along with every other team in the Heat’s postseason path, were likely salivating over the fact that James seemed affected by Chicago’s hard fouls and physical defense in the last meeting between the two teams. The last thing that a seemingly invincible player like James wants to do is show any sign of weakness to his opponents, or reveal something another team did that ended up getting under his skin.

Actions speak louder than words, of course, so we’ll see how Sunday’s game plays out. If the Bulls are once again overtly physical with James, and the referees allow it, he’d be wise to not mention it again, no matter the end result.

  1. rodge1 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Juwan Howard may get just enough minutes to return the favor(s) with an elbow or 2.

    • cantonbound13 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      Juwan Howard???? He’s a thousand! He may break his hip.

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    He did t complain about physical plays. When asked, he said there were 2 fouls that weren’t “basketball plays”. And he was right.

    Here’s what will happen. Teams will intentionally try to rough him up in playoffs (and Wade too). It won’t bother him (or Wade). But when it leads to a wide FT disparity ,you’ll read it here that the Heat get all the calls because they’ll have shot 10 or more FTs than their opponent.

    • turnmymicup - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Well said 1972. The most annoying thing is hearing how the Heat get all the calls from the refs. It can be the most obvious foul but theirs always that one guy at the bar screaming “No Foul”. If teams would man up and play defense instead of hacking this wouldnt be a discussion.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        ………………………….

  3. cantonbound13 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Get the Wheel chair ready for Diva Wade.

  4. finley88thebeast - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Lol…Lebron is going to f### the bulls up today

  5. mikejd12 - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    This wasn’t a change of tune….. His complaint was that Chicago in the last game, the fouls were NOT basketball plays… A tackle and a virtue close line. Isn’t.. The heat can play physical. They have shown that already ask Indiana…. Or ask the bulls when they beat them 2 years ago with derik rose..

  6. patfic15 - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Lebron gets slapped around…but that’s what happens when you throw yourself down the lane most of the game.

  7. turnmymicup - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    If theirs any player you dont want playing anymore physical its LeBRON. Hate him or love him everytime LBJ drives to the rim you know what to expect. Physical play. He never said the Bulls are too physical to beat. The guy simply wants them to play like the Bulls not the Chicago Bears. You wrap up a running back not the forward driving the lane. Make a play on the ball or get the fu** out of the way.

  8. gmsingh - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I fail to see how contradicting his statements from a week ago is “the right response”. It’s as if he is really saying, “Yeah, I was being cheesy then, and I’m trying not to sound cheesy now.” Let’s face it, since LeBron’s two hour TV show announcing he was signing with the Heat his media presence has been completely lame. People would have to be some kind of stupid to think he’s making “the right response” now.

  9. emosnar - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    The bulls weren’t overtly physical. . . soft ass country.

  10. fotydaze - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Ever notice how many statements he has to change? You are who you are Lebron,. In your initial statements you come across as soft quite a bit, so you clarify to try to correct it….but you are who you are

    • gmsingh - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      He just lacks the mental toughness of most great players. Against the Bulls today he was completely discombobulated in the first half, particularly when he attempted to elbow Nate Robinson in the head. It’s a shame that the Bulls don’t have anybody with the psyche out ability of Dennis Rodman, who would have done to LeBron what he did to Christian Laettner back in the day: drive him batsh*t crazy. Luckily for LeBron, the NBA has the games fixed and does stuff like change regular fouls to “clear path” fouls to help him out. At that point in the Bulls game it was the fifth time where Jeff Van Gundy said “I don’t see the foul there”. It became too embarrassing to watch.

      If the playing field were level LeBron would be made to look like the head case that he is.

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        He was discombobulated? He started 7-7 shooting.

      • gmsingh - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        Seriously? You didn’t seem him lose his composure in the first half? In a game that had no playoff implications whatsoever?

  11. valeb2012 - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Lebron is not a good ambassador for the game. He whines. For those of you who say Hinrich’s foul wasn’t a basketball play, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Ask Hubie Brown: Wrap him up; no and-1. When you’re 200 lbs wet and a 270 freight train comes down the middle, wrapping up means you’re probably going to get knocked on your a$$. Forget the whining, Lebron needs to stop flopping. See last year East conf playoffs. Larry, Magic, Jordan, Hakeem, Barkley, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan — flop wasn’t in their vocabulary.

  12. titansbro - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    F*** the NBA, this league is a joke.

    • pantsfreezone - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      But you give a site that covers the NBA clicks and help with advertising and take the time out of your Sunday to comment on the article.

  13. yousuxxors - Apr 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I know you guys are mad because lebron didn’t go to your team but let it blind you.

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