LeBron James Says He Has Kind of Embraced the Villain Role
As we have seen over the past year or so, LeBron James is incredibly self-conscious and image-concerned. After his ill-advised “Decision” show inspired incredible amounts of hatred, LeBron grew even more sensitive. He said he was taking mental notes on all the people who criticized him over the summer, and he seemed to be genuinely hurt that so many prominent figures in the basketball world turned on him. The result was a commercial from LeBron’s chief endorser in which a confused LeBron asked if he should accept his role as the villain. Funny enough, four months into his first NBA season with the Miami Heat, he says he has.
After going for 44 points in an impressive shooting display at Portland Sunday night, LeBron finally said he plays the bad guy role well. “I’ve grown accustomed to it,” James said, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of The Palm Beach Post. “I enjoy it,” LeBron added “I’m very comfortable. And I’ve kind of accepted this villain role everyone has placed on me. I’m OK with it. I accept it.”
If you saw LeBron play against Portland, you know where the comments come from. He went 17-26 from the field and made three of five three-pointers, including two big ones in overtime. Since their slow 9-8 start, the Heat has gone 21-1 leaving critics very little ammunition. Many of LeBron’s best games have come in prominent road contests. He went for triple doubles in New York and against the Lakers on Christmas, and he scored a then season-high 38 in Cleveland. It’s pretty clear that LeBron has brought his game to a higher level in the most hostile environments, making the “villain” that much more likable.