Blog Entry

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

Posted on: November 21, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 10:46 am
 
Posted by Ben Golliver

lebron-james-decision

How long has the NBA lockout lasted? The NBA lockout has gone on so long that Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James has finally realized that "The Decision" wasn't the best idea.

Less than six months ago, the 2011 NBA Finals just lost, James took a hard line against those who criticized him in the aftermath of the television special in which he announced his intention to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat during the summer of 2010.

"At the end of the day," James said, "all the people that were rooting for me to fail, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that... They can get a few days, or a few months, or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point."

That was June. Now it's November, and James has criss-crossed the country and traveled the world, bringing basketball to all sorts of far reaches and raising loads of money for charity, all while spending the longest amount of time away from the court since he entered the NBA in 2003. All that time off has him singing a different tune.

In an interview with The Guardian, James says he totally understands why people would have been upset by the decision and goes so far as to apologize for hurting people.
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 apologise to them. At the same time, you should never be afraid to do what you believe in."
What's more, absent the postseason pressure and with some time and space to reflect, James even says he misses the negativity that followed him from arena to arena during the 2010-2011 season.
James even claims to miss the booing that usually trails him. "I miss it right now with the lockout, feeding off the opposing crowd and them booing you – in a good way. Some of 'em, they boo you because they don't like you personally – but they don't know you personally. They haven't had the opportunity to sit next to you. If they did, they might have a totally different idea about you."
Just to recap: Five months ago, James encouraged his haters to enjoy their pointless lives because he wasn't going to change. In November, James misses their criticism, realizes those critical of him aren't doing so blindly, and says that he's sorry if people were hurt by his actions. He refuses to directly express regret, but all the ingredients are there. This isn't a total personality transplant, but it's definitely a makeover.

It's always been said that absence makes the hard grow fonder. Who would have guessed that phrase applied to superstars and their haters too?

Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:53 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

the decision... from king lebron  to queen lebron.  from loved to hated , from the best to second or third. still no championship with the fab 3. dont sound like a  good decision to me 



Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:53 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

As an original LeBron "Hater", I can honestly say that my stance has changed as well...  I would label myself a "Strong Disliker" at this point.  As a Cleveland fan, I don't think I will ever really get over LeBron's choice to abandon his home team, and I will never understand the way he chose to announce it.  I think the biggest mistakes he made were to:


1) Place too much value on what HE wanted without carefully considering how the negative fan reaction would make him feel.

2) Surrounding himself with "yes-men" who were obviously more inclined to tell him he was making the "right" decision because it was what LeBron wanted, rather than to really serve him by making him aware of the repercusions of his decision.

3) Failing to realize that if he wanted to leave Cleveland gracefully he needed to find the best way possible to do it whithout showing a callous disreguard for his fans, who were clearly devoted to him... 

All that being said, LeBron is gone from Cleveland, and he (and his ex-fans) need to all move on.  Moving on does not mean we have to forget or even forgive, just accept that it has happened and get on with our (LeBronless) lives.

If this whole fiasco has taught us anything, it has taught us that LeBron covets glory over all else.  He wants to be immortalized by the NBA and its fans, and he thinks that can only happen by winning as many championships as MJ, who is the "yardstick" against which he measures himself.  If he believes his ultimate glory can only be reached via South Beach, so be it.  Time will only tell if he gets his glory, and whether or not the toes he stepped on along the way diminished that glory to any degree...    &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;



Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:33 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

You want to hurt Lebron?  Feed him a steady dose of silence.

Dude's a joke -   even the picture of him is a staged photo op for vitamin water.  Shameless and shallow.

Jordan's got rings - LeBron's got  excuses.  predictable and laughable.



Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:23 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

it's unfortunate that as soon as they come back, people will be buying tickets and will support them again. Fans should have put a message to the players and owners, if you screw us, we wont be back. Never happens, people are dumb. I am a huge hockey fan, but when they went on strike, I gave up my season tickets and never went back. Yes, I watch now, but they arent getting me back there for the season, people arent strong enough to stick to things, sad.



Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 8:58 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

fanstrike.com,  How about the fans going on strike for once to get what we want, instead of the greedy owners ansd players. Demand every ticket should be less than $50or we wont attend any games.  Boycott the advertisers who put commercials after the strike.   Its time for fans to go on strike. Hell with James and all other jerks who are living off us.  Time to organize and start our own movemnt.  FANS



Since: May 18, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 8:37 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

Anger?  Maybe a few posts here and there. Virtually everyone I speak to is not talking about the NBA.  At all.  Nothing.  No one even cares. I don't think that bodes well for the NBA.  




Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:35 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

hatoraid
Isn't it "haterade"?
Losers say "I hope" in the privacy of their own mind.  That way if they fail no one else knows.  Winners say "i will!" for the world to hear.
That is gay.



Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:21 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

Tall people don't live very long-unless they're very lean as was Bill Russell.This guy may not see 60.That's what with he has to live.



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:18 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

Im with hooterville,  best in years.  Especially after seeing the greed in the NBA.  At least theres college ball to watch.  Just some kids haven' some good ol' fun on the court and in the stands. 




Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:36 pm
 

LeBron: I understand fan anger, miss the boos

IF lebron or the other players in the league or even the owners got it, they would be playing basketball and we would be watching it instead of reading this column.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com