LeBron James, to no ones surprise, faced a lot of criticism after sitting out the final four minutes of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals due to cramping. Folks mocked James all over social media.
James rarely goes on his phone or watches television during the playoffs as he has done for the past few years. He completely shuts down his social media during the postseason, too. However, he did hear about what people were doing following his cramping incident, such as #LeBroning.
I know Im the easiest target that we have in sports, Im aware of it, James said in an interview with ESPNs Michael Wilbon on Friday. I really am. I believe it.
James has been on the superstar scene ever since high school when he was labeled as The Chosen One. He easily became one of the most scrutinized athletes ever when he joined the Miami Heat in 2010, then losing in the Finals to the Dallas Mavericks that same season.
James says he doesnt care about trying to prove people wrong or shutting up his critics. He just does him and controls what he can, as he said so during his sit-down with Wilbon.
For me, all I can control is what I control, James said. For me, as one of the leaders of our team, one of the biggest competitors of our team, and knowing what it takes to win, for me, Ill maintain my focus and get ready for Game 2. (Theres) anger in the sense that I wasnt able to be out there for my teammates to possibly help them win Game 1 of the Finals. But what I can control is what I do to prepare myself mentally going to the next game.
James spent most of his first season with the Heat trying to be in that villain role. It never really worked out. James fixed his attitude and his game the next season, where he of course won his first ring. He hasnt changed since.
I cant play the game of basketball and live my life on what other people expect me to do or what they think I should do, that doesnt make me happy, James said. What makes me happy is being able to make plays for my teammates, to be able to represent the name on the back of my jersey. Thats what makes me happy. What everybody else thinks? That doesnt really matter to me.