Jun 9, 2014, 3:15 PM EST
LeBron James might face the most criticism – in both its width and depth – of any athlete who has won a championship at the highest level of his sport.
If not, he’s almost definitely the most criticized athlete with two titles.
Nothing guarantees widespread support, but a championship comes closest.
Except for LeBron – and he knows it.
I’m the easiest target that we have in sports.
Jeez, LeBron is so narcissistic. He thinks everyone is always talking about him.
Because they often are.
LeBron might be narcissistic, though his millions of dollars and adoring fans certainly predispose him to that mindset. That LeBron isn’t more self-centered is something of a miracle.
Of course, LeBron brought a lot of the criticism on himself. The Decision TV special was poorly considered. The gaudy press conference upon arriving in Miami – including, “not two, not three…” – further showcased LeBron’s arrogance. He held an entitlement he hadn’t yet earned.
But since, he’s earned it. He led the Heat to two straight championships – titles that were not at all handed to him. Miami’s loss to the Mavericks in the 2011 Finals should prove that.
Yet, widespread respect has curiously eluded him.
Does that motivate him?
I can’t play the game of basketball or live my life on what other people expect me to do or what they think I should do. That doesn’t make me happy. What makes me happy is being able to make plays for my teammates, to be able to represent the name on the back of my jersey. That’s what makes me happy. What everybody else thinks, that doesn’t really matter to me.
LeBron just didn’t need to imagine slights to motive himself. If he looked a little harder, real critics surrounded him.
It took only one game to get reminded of that.
PBT Extra: Who has upper hand in NBA Finals now?
- Damian Lillard drops career high 43, leads Blazers to 3OT win over Spurs (VIDEO) 1
- Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston 7
- Report: Minnesota agrees to trade Corey Brewer to Houston 6
- Dallas moves into title contender status with addition of Rajon Rondo 42
- Kevin Durant turns ankle, leaves game not to return; X-rays negative. 4
- Report: Celtics ‘pretty pleased’ with return they got in trade for Rajon Rondo 31
- PBT Extra: Jabari Parker’s injury, what does it mean for Bucks, Rookie of Year race? 5
- Reports: Celtics agree to trade Rajon Rondo to Dallas Mavericks 39