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LeBron loved even more in locker room

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08:12 AM ET 05.13 | There has been uninterrupted excellence from LeBron James all season, which is why his third MVP award was hardly a surprise. But do you know what else there has been inside the privacy of the Heat locker-room? A new level of admiration from teammates, for how he has sharpened his game, matured as a person, and become more enjoyable to be around because of his mental resolve to become a happier, less distracted superstar since his Finals failure last June. "The guy," Juwan Howard said, "is just so warm and pleasant to be around. "He's so misunderstood. He doesn't get enough credit for how unselfish he is, on and off the court. I believe he would give you his last dollar or last meal." Said Heat president Pat Riley: "He's grown as a man" this year."

Miami Herald

LeBron James, Icon SMI LeBron James, Icon SMI
May 13, 2012  08:36 AM ET

Lebron is a young man who has obviously figured some things out, and understands that he made mistakes like everyone else. That said, as great a player as he is, if he doesn't win a championship this year, with 3 MVP's he is going to see a new wave of criticism that stings more than anything else.

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May 13, 2012  08:54 AM ET

The heat is gonna get punished in the paint by Hilbert and West.

May 13, 2012  09:04 AM ET

Boston needs to make quick work of the Sixers...if Bradley, Allen and Pierce can play, then the Heat have a problem, namely, what to do about KG in the post

May 13, 2012  09:28 AM ET

No matter how much love there is he is and always will be the most hated NBA player. No matter what his teammates feel the fans will never forget his past

May 13, 2012  09:30 AM ET

For the very first time in my life I was impressed with a Lebron press conference. He seemed humane and humbled yesterday. I applaud his growth. Kudos to Lebron.

The Heat as a team still seem to think they've got this thing (RING) won and a sense of accomplishment, "they've gotten over the hump".........this kind of thinking as well as another NBA (WEST) team may be their undoings!

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May 13, 2012  11:10 AM ET

Sorry But You're Still Public Enemy Number One, Bro.

May 13, 2012  11:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Cleveland fans have a right to still be angry and disgusted with Lebron. They were the ones that got screwed.

He was a free agent, and had every right to sign with any team he wanted. If you want to blame someone blame that foolish Cavs owner. He did a poor job handling the whole situation, and his sense of entitlement was pathetic.

May 13, 2012  11:19 AM ET

People always talk about "The Decision" and how it was a waste. "The Decision" is what made A LOT of people hate LBJ, but WHY does everyone want to forget the fact that he used "The Decision" to raise two million dollars for the Boys and Girls club.

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May 13, 2012  11:53 AM ET

Granted, he had a right to leave.

Granted, he had a right to join his friends.

Granted, he's grown (though, to be fair, he's always been pretty mature for a guy who's had the spotlight on him, who didn't go to college, etc.).

Now just one more thing - can we get an explanation of why he quit in the Celtics series? Will some national reporter ask him and get an answer? Please.

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May 13, 2012  12:20 PM ET

Since when do players' have to be humble??? You guys are talking like you live in Soap Operas. Why does the public expect humility out of star athletes that do amazing things on the court??? Kobe is not and has never been humble to any degree. Whether during his losing years when he wanted to leave the Lakers or his championship winning seasons, Kobe's resolve to NOT be humble has been something he has marketed and manifested as his chosen persona he relishes. The fans don't give Kobe such a hard time for the questionable/bad decisions he's made. Namely, the decision to have indiscriminate sex with an anonymous hotel employee (which caused him to be accused of rape), marrying a poor broke young woman even though his family boisterously and fervently advised him not to (and to get a prenuptial, which he refused to do).

Lebron, has at the very least been able to stay engaged to his college sweetheart (also the mother of his children) and as of yet has not been found to have arbitrary sex with hotel employees at his whimsical discretion (if that isn't a reflection of Kobe's arrogance...what is????). Therefore, if Kobe can be as haughty and smug as his past and present behavior reflects, why in the hell can't Lebron be arrogant as well??? You guys make no sense. Or are you angry that he's rich or maybe some of you just need to hate a rich Black kid from Akron whom you think should be personally grateful for you for the God given talent he was blessed with. Without him being talented you wouldn't have Lebron to hate. So at least appreciate him for that. Because without Lebron what other Black talented athlete would you hate?...Oh I know, all of them with the exception of Kobe!!!

May 13, 2012  12:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Granted, he had a right to leave.Granted, he had a right to join his friends.Granted, he's grown (though, to be fair, he's always been pretty mature for a guy who's had the spotlight on him, who didn't go to college, etc.).Now just one more thing - can we get an explanation of why he quit in the Celtics series? Will some national reporter ask him and get an answer? Please.

This is a puzzle but does not really provide a reason for all the hate towards him. It all comes down to the handling of the Decision. That was his indiscretion (and it was so public there can be no alleged attached). However, IMO, it pales in light of others' alleged indiscretions (e.g. Kobe, etc.) and, like some others, he appears to have to have regretted what he did and to have grown up a little. But it is not yet enough for his spurned haters to forgive.

May 13, 2012  12:39 PM ET

He should have won 4 MVPs if not for all the hatred.

May 13, 2012  12:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

People always talk about "The Decision" and how it was a waste. "The Decision" is what made A LOT of people hate LBJ, but WHY does everyone want to forget the fact that he used "The Decision" to raise two million dollars for the Boys and Girls club.

To answer this question, its because people in reality don't care that Lebron isn't humble they are just using their so-called "quest for the humble athlete" to discredit and malign some for what they think is less than "angelic" human (irony) behavior. Behavior that most of them cannot replicate in their own lives. For if they (overly critical, silly fans) truly were looking for credible, redeeming and moral acts of service and humility they would direct more of their attention to the $2 Million dollars raised for kids for the Boys and Girls club in Akron. For all of the Lebron "haters" I would asked when have you raised $2 million for kids??? And if that is not a reflection of altruism and community service, I would love for a hating fan to tell me what is??? Since the fans are big on humility answer this: was it less important to raise $2 millions for kids or more important for Lebron to be humble??? If you have to really put thought to that ,know that such cognitive ambivalence in this matter reflects your own hypocrisy and contradiction of your alleged purposed hate for Lebron not being humble. In fact those fans care less about the kids and more about how Lebron's public persona affects them emotionally. Therefore the fans are as least equally as self-centered and arrogant as Lebron. Lastly, in the wise words of some old folks: how can the pot call the Kettle Black (idiom used to claim that a person is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another)???

 
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