During LeBron James‘ four-year run with the Miami Heat, he was arguably the most hated player in NBA history. Every road arena he played in, the King was booed when he had the ball since people were upset about The Decision and his choice to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Fans who sit courtside at games love to talk trash to players, and LeBron heard his fair share of smack talk while he was on the Heat. During the 2012-13 season, the four-time MVP got so annoyed by a heckler who said he couldn’t shoot that he sank jumper after jumper right in front of him and destroyed the Oklahoma City Thunder.
LeBron James woke up after Thunder fan kept taunting him
The Heat faced the Thunder in OKC on February 14, 2013. LeBron finished the first half by hitting a pair of 3-pointers and a pair of jumpers from the left wing on four straight possessions. Viewers wondered why LBJ kept going to that side of the floor, and the small forward told reporters postgame that it all started with a fan who taunted him.
“He said, ‘Shoot it. You can’t shoot.’ So, I said, ‘OK,’ and I shot it. I made it, and then I made another one, and then I made another one, and then I made another one, and he stopped talking to me,” LeBron said.
The Thunder fan who kept taunting LeBron made a giant mistake waking the Heat superstar up. Not only did Miami defeat OKC, but the Akron Hammer also put on a mesmerizing performance.
LeBron James scored 39 points
LeBron made sure to teach the trash-talking Thunder fan a lesson. He torched OKC for 39 points while shooting 14-of-24 from the field, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. The 2003 No. 1 overall draft pick also had 12 rebounds and seven assists in the Heat’s 110-100 win.
LeBron wasn’t a reliable jump shooter when he first came into the NBA out of high school in 2003. However, he tirelessly worked on his outside shot and turned himself into a mid-range and 3-point threat.
The 2012-13 season was a banner campaign for LeBron. Not only did he win his second consecutive and fourth overall regular-season MVP, but the Akron, Ohio, native also led the Heat to their second straight championship.
Heat beat Spurs in 2013 Finals
The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 Finals in seven epic games. LeBron averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists during the regular season to win the MVP and put up 25.3 points, 10.9 boards, and 7.0 assists per game in the Finals en route to winning Finals MVP.
LeBron is one of 10 players in NBA history to win regular-season MVP and Finals MVP in the same season. The other nine are Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tim Duncan.
Fans need to understand that trash-talking NBA legends will never benefit them or their favorite basketball team. In 2013, LeBron taught an uneducated Thunder fan a critical lesson by scoring 39 points and knocking down multiple jump shots right in front of him. It’s safe to assume that OKC fan learned his lesson.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.
RELATED: LeBron James Received Standing Ovation From Away Crowd That Hated Michael Jordan After Putting on Spectacular Show: ‘You Don’t See That a Lot, but That Shows You How Dominant of a Performance This Young Man Had’