Miami Heat forward LeBron James has begun to attempt to dig himself out of the rubble of the avalanche of criticism that cascaded down on him when he made some ill-thought statements after the Miami Heat were defeated Sunday night by the Dallas Mavericks in game six of the NBA Finals sending them home empty-handed for the summer while the Mavericks became the 2011 NBA Champions. The former NBA MVP lashed out at fans who were rooting against him and his club in the post-game press conference.
James told a world-wide audience “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. 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.”
Less than 48 hours after making the remarks James told “ESPN.com” that the public’s perception of his statements in the post-game media session is far different than what he tried to say. The All-Star said “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. 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.”
James also said that his performance in the Finals did not live up to the level that he has set for himself. He said “I put a lot of pressure on myself not to let my teammates down, maybe to a fault at times. I didn’t play up to my own standards. Did that cost us the Finals? I don’t know. I’m not satisfied with my performance.”
The Heat forward was asked if he regretted his actions in the past year starting with his decision to sign with Miami as a Free Agent while leaving his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers in the lurch. He responded “You can’t live your life going back and saying ‘if I could do it again,’ life doesn’t run its course like that. There are times when you feel like if you did have another opportunity you would change it but you can’t move on in life thinking about the past.”
Bottom line is James has made many regrettable decisions in the past year that has led to him becoming the poster boy for everything that sports fans despise about the modern pro-athlete. His lack of loyalty to the Cavaliers just got the snowball rolling down the mountainside; it was a series of sometimes callous and sometimes just flat-out stupid statements he has made since last July that his put him in his present position.
So, the “Spin-Control” has begun and we will see if the talented player has really learned anything from the experience. Sadly however, I don’t think he truly has. LeBron James seems to have “devolved” from the young man who always had a penchant for saying the right thing at the right time.