Everyone has been saying it since the day after he announced his decision: LeBron James needs to embrace the villain role that comes along with ditching his hometown to play with his buddies in Miami. Literally, everyone. Even LeBron himself has said that he has “accepted [the] villain role everyone has placed on [him].” When it comes to LeBron James-as-villain talk, that’s the final word, you’d think, since he is literally doing what literally everyone has said he should do. Literally.
However, when one of the villain-iest villains to ever villain wants to keep talking about LeBron James being a villain, I think we should listen. Especially when the topic is playing in Madison Square Garden, which LeBron will be doing tonight. From the New York Daily News:
“Be the best villain you can be,” said Reggie Miller, who was waging open warfare with Knick fans long before James became a precocious teen superstar. “LeBron needs to accept this, embrace this. He’s no longer the hero riding in on his horse. He needs to change the white hat to a black hat.”
If there’s ever a dude to speak on being a basketball villain, it’s Reggie Miller. It’s no secret that he’s one of the most hated basketball players of all-time. He’s so unlikable that he even got people to applaud Kobe Bryant for fighting him, which is saying something. I mean, there was an entire documentary made about how much New York hated the guy. When it comes to basketball villainy in New York, Reggie Miller is the expert.
There aren’t many times when I’m happy to hear what Reggie Miller has to say, but this is one of them. Of course, it helps that we’re not actually hearing him speak the words. That’s what the mute button is for. Nonetheless, Reggie knows how to play to the crowd in New York. He knows that by being the best villain you can be, those fans will respect you even if they hate you. Considering how much people hate LeBron these days, a little respect might be nice.