Throughout much of his career, star forward LeBron James has been on two sides of the spectrum for NBA fans. James has become the most recognizable player in the league behind his stellar performance on the court that has earned him praise as being one of the greatest players to play the game. In contrast, it has thrust a great detail of emotional connections from fans tilting in either direction with admiration or hatred toward him. Former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Iman Shumpert has voiced why he believes some NBA fans choose to hate on James.
LeBron James’ NBA stardom
Before James even stepped onto the NBA hardwood floor, he had a tremendous amount of expectations tossed his way. He had been hyped up as being arguably the best high school talent heading into the league.
Despite having that significant spotlight on his shoulders, James excelled from the get-go quickly, proving to be the real deal. Throughout his career, he more than exceeded that promising outlook that was placed ahead of him. James has achieved numerous accolades while getting the burden off his back as he has three NBA titles to his name.
He has put himself in the NBA record in many different instances while he has securely pushed himself into the debate for being the greatest player to play the game. Michael Jordan may sit at the throne in that conversation but are those that give him significant consideration for that vaunted mantel.
Along the way in his career, James has also garnered hatred from some NBA fans that have remained. With that topic in mind, one of his former teammates believes he knows where that sentiment stems.
Iman Shumpert knows why people hate LeBron James
As the years have passed, James has been on the receiving end of some hatred from NBA fans.
It has ranged from various aspects from those not liking him from teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat to self-anointing himself as the “Chosen One” with his back tattoo. However, Shumpert believes that people hold disdain toward his former longtime teammate for another reason.
“Cause he does it really well. He ain’t got no marks on his resume and people just want him to look more like a person. He try so hard to do all the right things. To me, it’s like ‘I don’t care about leading’, but there are so many different things, so many different people around him, so even if he got a decision in his heart, he can’t make it knowing it’ll affect all that’s under his umbrella. So, knowing how it is, his whole career and not really make a terrible step, that’s incredible, and he’s still playing at this level, that’s incredible.
Shumpert played three 3 1/2 seasons alongside James with the Cavaliers that gave him a first-hand perspective of that hatred.
There is undoubtedly much credence to that as four-time league MVP has shown incredible longevity throughout his career without any personal missteps along the way being made.
James has had his shortcomings on the court, such as his NBA Finals record and comments that often get him ridiculed, such as infamous Heat press conference where he counted how many championships he could win. However, he has kept his personal life and basketball career in order throughout the last 17 years.
It may not be the only reason why James receives hatred from fans, but it’s certainly up there.
LeBron James will continue to receive hate
Regardless of what James does from this point on, there will always be those that hate him.
Keep in mind; some fans still hold a grudge against him for creating a Big 3 in Miami years ago. James has had his faults be it questionable comments, but it hasn’t derailed what has been on illustrious NBA career.
He may never surpass Jordan in the minds of many, but the fact that he’s put himself in that conversation speaks to the talent and career that he has strong together. There is no clarity on how much longer James will play, but however long he decides to continue will add further to his legacy.