LeBron James is easily the most polarizing player in the NBA, and arguably in sports, period. James has been in the NBA finals for six straight years, a first in over 50 years. Yet with all his greatness and accomplishments, people all across the nation have incredible disdain for "The King."
The records LeBron has set, and continues to set, are so plentiful and impressive that it is becoming less and less possible to regard him as anything but one of the greatest to ever play the game. It has become nearly impossible to bash James for his play, so rather than just give the man his props and move on, people have resorted to some petty critiques. We will obviously expose some of those silly reasons to hate LebBron as we get into the countdown.
The majority of LeBron haters draw back to his relocation from Cleveland to Miami as the sole reason to criticize him. It seems to me that the move actually helped him grow as a player and as a man, but before you think I am just a James apologist, understand that I recognize that there are many things he could be doing, and have done better in his career. James is notorious for his dramatics on the court, sometimes deserving an Academy Award for his flops. Also, James could use a lesson from Kobe Bryant in the area of having that killer instinct.
At the end of the day, however, there is much more good that comes from LeBron James than there is bad. He is an all-time great basketball player and an even better family and community member. LeBron has given back to his community, and to people from all over the world, as much as any athlete today, but let's find out why people seem to hate him so much. Here are the top 15 reasons people hate LeBron James.
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15 The Flops
As was mentioned in the intro, LeBron flops. He flops way too much as a matter of fact. When praising him, many people mention his size, 6'8, 250 pounds. A man of that size has no business flailing to the ground on phantom fouls. There is a great YouTube video out there that is a hilarious collection of clips showcasing LeBron flopping. His performance is that of a highly trained thespian. A more baffling thing is how referees keep falling for it.
14 His Beautiful Family
James has been with the same woman since his high school days. Many people, and it is sad to say, are the jealous type. Just recently, there have been multiple reports of LeBron committing infidelities, which have since been proven erroneous. These sorry attempts at shade throwing are just that, sorry, and they should be highly frowned upon, yet somehow they are eaten up by the hungry wolves ready to jump at anything to see LeBron's downfall.
13 2-4 Finals Record
Having just made his 6th straight finals appearance and 7th overall, LeBron only has two championship rings. Many folks in the 'bash Bron' brotherhood point to his 2-4 record in the NBA Finals. It is a fair critique to an extent. The only problem is that it gives no credit to making it to the finals. Still, LeBron does have a losing record in the most important stage. Luckily for James, it appears as though he will have more than a couple more chances to get more rings.
12 Dominance Over The Entire League
If you are a basketball fan and don't like LeBron, it is probably because at some point, he dominated your favorite team. Over the past 13 years, James has had so many dominant performances that seemingly every single NBA franchise has a "LeBron game." Much like with Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, when a player is that good for that long, it is only a matter of time before they break your team too.
11 Pass First Mentality
LeBron is a rare superstar in the way he is constantly looking to get his teammates involved before himself. He has that Magic Johnson type of style, but many fans of today's NBA grew up idolizing Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Jordan and Bryant were pure scores, while James' style is in stark contrast to those other two. It seems many people are not thrilled with James' style of play and it in turn blinds them to what James is actually able to do on the court
10 He Left Cleveland
In 2010, LeBron James bolted out of his hometown. The worst part about it was that he never told the Cavaliers he was leaving until he told the world. James' jersey was famously burned in the streets by Cavalier fans and people all over the country now had good reason to dislike James. The move to leave Cleveland may have turned out to be a good one, but the manner in which he made the move left much to be desired.
9 Skip Bayless
The biggest voice against LeBron is clearly Skip Bayless. Bayless has found a way to stay relevant by appealing to all the LeBron haters out there. Bayless will criticize LeBron for damn near anything, and many fans eat it up. When someone has as big of a platform as Bayless does, with his seat on the set of ESPN's First Take, it is easy to create controversy and sway the opinion of many people. We'll see if that fuel continues once Bayless leaves ESPN this summer.
8 His Hairline
The LeBron James hairline discussion has been a topic of controversy for several years now. It is rumored that James colors his head and hair to give the appearance of a thick, full head of hair, when really we all know he is going bald. He used to wear headbands to cover up the recession of his hairline and that was easy pickings for anyone trying to make a joke about James. He has since put the headbands away, but somehow the fullness of his hair seems to change day to day.
7 Desire To Play With Friends
During the 2016 regular season, James expressed interest in someday joining his friends Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade on what would be a super team. James fell right back into the trap that got him in trouble in the first place. His desire to be around friends and family is often viewed as a cop-out by many James critics. His biggest knock thus far is that he cannot win the big games by himself, and saying things like this do not help his cause.
6 Media Attention
James was on the cover of Slam Magazine at 15 years old and the cover of Sports Illustrated coined him as "The Chosen One" at 16 years old. His high school games were played on ESPN. He has always been a media mainstay for so long that fans of basketball began to experience LeBron fatigue. It becomes annoying to see and hear James give the same responses to questions for almost 20 years. They'll probably appreciate him more long after he's retired.
5 He Joined The Heat
It was bad enough that James decided to leave Cleveland, but when he famously took "his talents to South Beach," fans lost their minds. He left his hometown to go to the sunny beaches of Miami and play with his best friend, Dwyane Wade, what could be more cowardly than that right? Many fans were upset at James for this move, and many found great joy in seeing the Heat lose their first run at an NBA championship in 2011 to the Dallas Mavericks.
4 "King James" Nickname
The nickname "King James" is one that rubs many people the wrong way. Not only has James referred to himself as "The King" on occasion, but he also has "Chosen 1" tattooed on his back. All of these ego driven actions by James has created a backlash against him, and extended the belief that he is an ego-maniac. The only defense for James on the nickname is that he did not give it to himself, it was donned on him while he was still in high school.
3 The Threat To MJ
Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time. Many of today's basketball fans are loyal to MJ and in their minds, there is nobody that even comes close to the greatness of the "jump man". Since he entered the NBA, the media has been unfairly comparing James with Jordan, and due to that immediate comparison, many fans are anti-James, simply because they don't want anyone to be compared to MJ.
2 "The Decision"
In 2010 when James decided to leave the Cavaliers and go the the Heat, he put on a short TV special called " The Decision" where he let the world know what he was going to do. This spectacle was unnecessary and very much in line with the "LeBron is an ego maniac" thinking. James did however, donate all proceeds from the event to charities, and the event did raise over a million dollars. James, however, will likely never live this "decision" down no matter how many NBA Championships he wins.
1 He Is Not On Your Team
It is widely agreed at this point that LeBron is an all-time NBA great. He has dominated the NBA for well over a decade and he is still doing it. The thing about a guy like James is that if he is on your team, he is likely your favorite player of all time, and on the flip side, if your team has to play against him every year, you start to hate the guy. When it is all said and done, LeBron will likely get the respect he deserves, but as of now he is on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and if you are not a Cavs fan, you likely are not a LeBron fan either.
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