LeBron James’ Controversial 2011 Comments Can Still Serve as a Good Reminder for His Haters Today

LeBron James has plenty of big-time fans and supporters, but The King also has many haters, maybe even more than any other athlete or NBA player in history. However, back in 2011 while playing for the Miami Heat, James sent out a controversial message to those haters. Now, 10 years later, James’ comments can be used as a good reminder for those who still enjoy seeing him fail today.

LeBron James choked in the 2011 NBA Finals with the Miami Heat

Even the biggest James fans can admit that he choked in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

While playing with the Big Three on the Heat, James only averaged 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in the series, a far cry from what he typically averages. Those were also fewer points than what both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh averaged in those finals.

James’ poor play, of course, led to the Heat losing to the Mavericks in six games. But it also led to The King making some controversial comments.

He made controversial comments after the 2011 NBA Finals

LeBron James during the 2011 NBA Finals.
LeBron James speaks at media availability before training for Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks on June 6, 2011. | Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Following Miami’s Game 6 loss in the finals, James made some comments that left people pretty unhappy.

“All the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today,” he said, per ESPN.

James continued: “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.”

Those comments were, obviously, taken as a brag. People thought James was saying that no matter who it is that’s hating on him, they don’t have a life better than his, so why would he care about what they have to say? While that’s true to a degree, James backed down from those comments a few days later.

“Basically I was saying at the end of the day this season is over and — with all hatred — everyone else has to move on with their lives, good or bad. I do too,” he said, per ESPN. “It wasn’t saying I’m superior or better than anyone else, any man or woman on this planet, I’m not. I would never ever look at myself bigger than anyone who watched our game. It may have come off wrong but that wasn’t my intent.”

No matter what James meant with his comments, they are now a good reminder for his haters today.

LeBron James’ 2011 NBA Finals comments are a good reminder for his haters in 2021

We’re now a decade removed from those remarks, and many people are still “rooting” for James “to fail.”

According to Fox Sports, a recent social media survey done by Sports Insider concluded that James is the NBA’s most hated player today. Those results aren’t all that surprising, either, given that many Michael Jordan fans seem to root against James, as he is the first NBA player who has been legit threat to MJ’s GOAT title.

James’ firm stances on social justice issues over the past several years have also led to more and more people disliking him.

“LeBron James stands for something … when you stand boldly and unashamedly for something, you’re going to have people that love you, and you’re going to have people that hate you,” Fox’s Chris Broussard said on the June 9 episode of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.

So, when looking at James’ 2011 comments and how they relate to the people who hate him now, they are a good reminder that James doesn’t seem to care as much about his haters as they do about him.

Whether James meant for his comments to sound how people initially took them, or he just meant to say that everyone has to eventually move on with their lives, one thing is for sure: James is going to be OK, win or lose. 

The four-time NBA champion is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is also a successful businessman. James’ net worth is estimated to be a whopping $500 million. Those rooting for his failure aren’t going to get what they want because he has already won.

Some may have been offended by James’ 2011 comments, but they’re just as meaningful now as they were then.

The King is going to succeed whether you hate him or not.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference; Net worth courtesy of Celebrity Net Worth

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