Pretty much everyone on Earth hates LeBron James with the passion of a thousand burning suns or something like that. Outside of a couple of children who don’t know any better, he’s persona non grata almost anywhere he goes. He’s the NBA’s most unpopular personality and the great majority of Americans dislike him. Even my best friend’s wife is like, “No, LeBron. Just no.” And she doesn’t even care about basketball.

Isiah Thomas knows what it’s like to be hated like that, which is why he’s offering his take on why people think LeBron James is the worst. From the Orlando Sentinel:

“It kind of comes with the territory when you’re really good,” Thomas said. “Nobody cares about the loser. Everybody likes the loser.

“Some people are not going to like you because you are successful and I think LeBron has been extremely successful since high school and Wade has been successful and I think those guys will continue to be successful. And with their success, there are going to be some people who are upset with that.”

So basically, haters gonna hate. True statement, too, as well as the basis for a bunch of rap songs.

However, while it’s certainly true that some people dislike LeBron because he is really good and that sort of thing brings out da haterz, there are also some other reasons that people hate LeBron James. Off the top of my head, these reasons include but are not limited to:

  • He’s arrogant
  • He’s cocky
  • He refers to himself in the third person sometimes
  • The global icon thing
  • “The Decision”
  • Just the fact that he left Cleveland
  • That time he told people that they’d have to go back to their lives which are filled with problems
  • Those cakes he had for his birthday
  • The entire Las Vegas escapade
  • Win Butler wears a pair of his shoes when he plays basketball
  • The insistence on wearing a headband to hide his receding hairline
  • He’s trying to get in on the hairline jokes which is our thing
  • He tries to be likable
  • He is arrogant and cocky

Again, these are just off the top of my head so there could be more reasons, but each of these are definitely reasons why a person might not like LBJ. They might not be valid reasons — the dude wanted to live in Miami and play basketball with his besties and he was 25 when he chose that which is a pretty 25-year-old decision to make — but they certainly exist. LeBron James has done an excellent job of giving people reasons to hate him, and people have done an excellent job of saying yes to those reasons and really running with it.

Isiah Thomas is right. People do dislike LeBron James because he’s great at basketball. Just ask Jay-Z and Kanye West. But that’s not it. There’s also that list up there (plus others, add yours in the comments, haters) and those are the sort of things that last a bit longer. I know it’s shocking that Isiah wouldn’t get things totally right, but I really don’t think he did.

(via SLAM)

Comments (45)

  1. Hum, he acts like he’s entitled to become the best player ever, while having never won a championship in the NBA and obviously either in college.

  2. The reason i dislike this guy is because he teamed up with 2 players at the same level as him to play for a championship… In Jordan’s time, he would NEVER co-ordinate with majic johnson, isaiah thomas and bird… HE WANTED TO BEAT THEM… and he did it. If labron STAYED in cleveland and had the desire to DEFEAT the wades, the bostons, the lakers, the spurs, then he would still be likable.. hes not a competitor. Hes like that kind on the playground that picks all the good players on his team so he doesnt have to work as hard to win and celebrate to say he won! lol .

    • Wade, bosh and Lebron are not at the same level at ALL…….. Jordan, Bird and Magic had a great organization to back them up. Those teams made the best decisions to help those players. What did the Cavs do to help Lebron? Mo williams was the only thing and look at him. what i’m trying to say is the Lebron made the best decision for him. Pat Riley is by far one of the best at what he does (the thunder are number one).

  3. You could add that his terrible tattoos and that he loves to quit

    Also, my personal favourite haters gonna hate picture:

  4. BS on the “Jordan/Magic/Bird would never do it” angle. Those guys had HoF teammates, dammit. Jordan’s teammates were very successful on their own while he played baseball. The Cavs were DEAD LAST without Lebron. If Jordan spent 7 years with the steaming pile of shit that Lebron had for teammates in Cleveland, Jordan would undeniably and unquestionably blown 7 gaskets and gone psycho. He would have punched Mike Brown in the face and dismembered Dan Gilbert. There is no comparison. (Same applies for Bosh and his team in TO.)

  5. @SR
    Are you serious?
    Pippen didn’t come before the 87-88 season, and didn’t play a lot in his 1st season. MJ’s best sidekick in his first 4 years was Charles Oakley. He’s good, but no HoFer.
    He also had no other All-Star than Pippen before the last 3 seasons (when Rodman got there), and it’s not like these guys had sat together during the summer planning to play together. Management did it.

    Same goes for those great Cs and Lakers teams : most of those HoFers were drafted by those franchises and didn’t do a buddy plan to get together. I’m sure any of those guys would have gladly played together on the same team (although I’d believe Bird and Magic’s rivalry was more important to them than their friendship), but the only time they sat down and said “let’s play together” was for the 92 olympics.

  6. Hey i won free fries :D :)

  7. @breyzh

    You have to realize that the management in cleveland lived in fear of upsetting lebron, and cared more to pamper him more than win. They did a terrible job signing free agents (larry hughes, tail end shaq), and the coaching staff never made a legitamate effort to develop their young players, it was just a uncommitted franchise to winning, so him leaving the city is totally understandable.

    I’m sure if there was a pippen in by his fifth year, something he saw potential in he probably wouldn’t see the need to bolt, but you can’t deny the chicago, la, and boston franchises were much better run and trustworthy. No player in his right mind would stay somewhere for the prime of his career with no room to grow. But it is what it is and he did what he did.

  8. @avinizzle

    Definitely agreed on everything.
    I don’t blame LeBron for leaving Cleveland, he had to, as you said, because of the terrible management.

    I was only arguing about the HoFers part, because Jordan didn’t always have that. And Jordan also had to suffer stupid management : Bill Cartwright as a cornerstone? Really? Jordan+Gervin+Woolridge? Stan Albeck?
    The Bulls management wasn’t always stellar, and I think I remember some stuff about Jordan asking for a trade at some point.

    Magic and Bird were blessed with great teammates most of their careers ‘tho (again, management).

  9. And when Jordan wasn’t playing with HoF’ers, he definitely had more than his fair share of complaints about teammate quality. The point is… none of Magic/Bird/Jordan colluded to team up because there was no need for them to do so. They had the teammates to win. I hate that argument. It’s so mindless.

  10. “It’s a hell of a lot easier to make Earl Monroe look good than it is Brad Sellers.”

    That is definitely the one I kind of remembered and was looking for. It’s funny, but sad at the same time.

  11. Yeah that HoFer argument is a dumb way of defending him, lol.

  12. what nba superstar isn’t arrogant and cocky? DRose fandom is getting pretty outrageous these days. Not like dude predicted multiple titles or anything. Someone tell me Kobe isn’t cocky? Or Ron Artest isn’t running around twitter calling himself the best nba defender of ALL TIME.

    Most of you hate LeBron because it’s the cool thing to do. And had he gone to your city? You’d be swinging all over him.

    Hate him for the way he left. Hate him for not playing against your team. But just know that chances are you’re holding him to a huge double standard that you probably don’t hold your favorite nba superstar to.

    I’m glad LeBron got to see first hand how Dirk handled winning a title. Because as much as I want him to rub it in everyone’s face that he won a title. Handling as classy as someone like Dirk did will bother you haters even more.

  13. Lebron is the most exciting player to watch in the nba today. I didn’t like his decision to go to Miami (Chicago would have been better imo), but who am I to criticise.

  14. Too excited to fix the errors above, ha. But hopefully you get the idea

  15. He acts like the NBA owes him something. When he wasn’t good enough to do it on his own, He abused a jock sniffing owner into overpaying every available talent Cleveland could sign. When that didn’t get him what was owed him, He left to form the super friends as a way to guarantee him what was owed him. Now that didn’t work and he is starting to realize that he just might have to earn it… Like every other champion.

  16. No one is gonna wanna say it, but some people also hate him because some people are racist idiots. Also, there’s an imbalance. Why is it that LeBron can be hated for all those things listed, which, quite honestly, are relatively minor, yet others can be convicted criminals, crimes that have actual victims (human and canine), and not get nearly the same level of hate? The feeding frenzy of LeBron hate is unsettling considering how little he’s done to earn it. Trey, you’re a great writer, and your blogs are the funniest on earth, but sir, your LeBron hate leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  17. @ rob: Nobody wins on their own. NOBODY. Leave that dumb rhetoric alone. And if being two wins away from a championship in their first season together makes you gloat about their “failures” as a team, then I clearly don’t know how things work in your world.

  18. I’ve disliked LeBron since my favorite team (the Magic) eliminated his team in the playoffs and he walked out without shaking hands or taking part in the press conference. I would have completely forgiven him if he’d so much as admitted his fault afterward, but I learned then that he’s not the kind of guy who apologizes for anything. What a jerk.

  19. Lol @ Lebron fans acting like victims, who said no one hates Kobe? Kobe is as arrogant and cocky as Lebron and was the most disliked player in the league before “The Decision”. I’ve personally never liked Lebron since he came into the league, first it was because I felt he was overhyped and never found him to be this basketball god that the media made him out to be, then there was the whole Jordan Crawford dunk video incident, then hearing him open his mouth and say the idiotic things he’s said made me realize that he was a complete bag of douche.

    P.S. Wtf does race have to do with this? Chances are if you hate Lebron because of his race than you hate like 85% of the entire NBA and basketball in general which we all know is a predominantly black sport.

  20. Um, yeah Andy… why use Kobe and Artest as examples? Kobe is arguably the second most hated player in the league. Artest is certifiably crazy.

    Look at guys like Tim Duncan, Dirk, DRose, Ray Allen, all future HOFers and you won’t hear them carrying on like LeBron does on a fairly regular basis, with the third-person and whatnot. Compare his confidence to Jordan if you want, but MJ never would’ve worn a shirt saying ‘His Airness’, while LeBron is strutting around with his ‘King James’ tees and ‘Chosen One’ tatts.

  21. How could you not trust Isiah Thomas, one of the nicest guys in the history of the sport? Oh wait, I’m thinking of Magic Johnson. See, I got them confused because Magic is awesome and Isiah tried to make people think he was gay. And everyone hated him when he was GM of the Knicks because he was bigtime “winner”. That was it.

  22. LeBron is a great player, but I think in their championship series he had a problem that nobody knows except himself… LeBron prove them wrong…

    check insurance

  23. I personally don’t hate LeBron at all. And there are lots of people out there who must agree with me. After all, his jersey is the most sold in the NBA (it even overtook Kobe…and sure, the fact he’s changed teams could’ve something to do with it but so what? Scores of people still purchased his jersey so they must like him. I mean, if they hated him they would’ve never purchased his jersey, new team or not) If anything, I hate those idiots losers who go out of their ways to criticize him. Like someone else pointed out, there are several athletes out there who got in REAL trouble with the law for doing really bad stuff and yet they’re more appreciated by those idiots than LeBron despite the fact LBJ never got in serious trouble. If there are people who prefer convicted criminals over someone who has never had any run-ins with the law, well then this should say much more about those idiots than it does about LeBron.


  24. I’m sorry, to people who throw the “real criminals” argument : could you be a little more precise?
    Kidd and Dirk’s domestic violence (I had friends who had that problem and they were no criminals)?
    Kobe’s unproven rape?
    Z-Bo’s marijuana abuse?
    Various players’ prostitute issues?
    Tax evasion?

    I fail to see “real criminals”, here. It’s not like anyone in the league has been convicted of murder, rape, dealing drugs, assault or terrorism. Not that I can remember at least.

    There’s the Crittenton case, but it’s not concluded yet, and seeing he’s not a major player, you won’t hear a lot about it.

  25. When I referred to “real criminals,” I didn’t limit it to the NBA, which is why I mentioned canines. No one has addressed the imbalance I wrote, though. Considering how little LeBron has done, does he really and truly deserve THIS much hate? Seriously? The most hated guy in the NBA? More than Kevin Garnett? Yeah, I know, he’s intense. Whatever. Tell that to the guy who got punched in the balls, or Charlie Villanueva. Garnett isn’t a “real criminal” either, but seriously, LeBron is more hated than Garnett? All I’m saying is that the his supposed villainy doesn’t justify the hate he’s getting. Many have done far worse, and haven’t faced nearly the same level of backlash. Take a step away from the feeding frenzy and be objective. The guy hasn’t done anything to warrant this much hate.

  26. Rather than run with this unthinking wolf pack, I’ll explain why I like Lebron James.

    He is fun loving.
    He is unselfish and shares the basketball well.
    He plays the right way.

    The Decision never bothered me much. There was such a hideous, terrifying overreaction to it that the irrationally irate bloggers, commentators, fans, and GM made Lebron look good in comparison. What did he really do anyway? He was just adding to the spectacle that we were already enjoying. It’s called entertainment (720).

    Other than that you have a few isolated incidents that really don’t add up to much.

    Actually, I will answer the question about why people hate him. There are three reasons.

    1) Negative journalism sells. If you have any doubt, this is the 26th comment in this thread. I would be shocked if any other story today had more than two.

    2) People believe what they are told without questioning the logic or reasoning behind it. See #1.

    3) Some people are upset that Lebron either left their town or didn’t come to their town as expected. However, if these people hate Lebron James, then reasons 2 and 1 are playing a dominant role in their thinking.

  27. As I back out of this thread I see I chose the wrong day to make the comment about the number of comments in this thread. I stand by the claim that negative journalism sells, however.

  28. Yo Larry bird hated Magic, and VICE VERSA… second, Jordan had HoF players? 91, 92, 93 ? really? Jordan made players around him better, please tell me what HoF player besides Rodman had a career before and after Jordan? Please tell me. Look at the stack teams the bulls had to face? The pistons beat up the bulls all the time. And you talk about ownership? The Bulls ownership wasnt paying Jordan what he was worth until the late ’90s when he FINALLY got 33 mill plus.. some years he was make 1 million.. when he won his first two rings he was barely making 4 million.

  29. Ok Joey I’ll address the so called “imbalance” in all of this. Kevin Garnett didn’t get a 90 million dollar contract from Nike while still in high school after being drafted, he was never put on a pedestal as “The Chosen One”, he never put on a one hour special on ESPN just to announce he was coming to Boston, and he didn’t participate in a premature celebration parade with Pierce and Allen. When you are under that kind of spotlight and you say/do stupid things you will garner a lot of negative attention more so than others.

    Once again, using Garnett (just like Kobe) is a terrible example. Garnett is widely disliked by pretty much any non-Celtic fan and if you take a poll amongst NBA players he is the most disliked player in the NBA. What’s really funny about all this is that you guys are complaining about all the hate one player gets and trying to make a case to hate another player. Anyone else see the irony in that argument?

  30. Actually, I don’t hate Garnett at all. I have a tremendous amount of respect the guy, and despite his being a pretty dirty player on the court, he seems to be a pretty good guy off the court. I’m not trying to make anyone hate anybody. Quite the opposite. I’m simply trying to get people to understand that the anger at LeBron isn’t justified when from everything I’ve read about the guy, he seems to be a pretty decent human being. As for your reasons for hating LeBron, you mention things that he had nothing to do with (multi-million dollar contract from Nike while in high school, being called “The Chosen One”), and once again, like so many others, you mention the premature celebration. I never understood that argument. That was a celebration for Miami, and Miami only. It was televised locally, but national media outlets picked it up, ran it and started their opining. LeBron NEVER promised the city that he’d win multiple championships, he only said that he made the move for a chance to win “not two, not three, not four…” It was something that the Miami Heat organization did for the community, and Miami is a party city. That’s how we roll. We wanted to celebrate the biggest free agent haul in NBA history. And again, I still say that there’s an imbalance, and to not even consider it a possibility is closed-minded.

  31. “I don’t need too much. Glamour and all that stuff don’t excite me. I am just glad I have the game of basketball in my life.”

    “LeBron stays humble just by being LeBron.”

    “I don’t want to go “Ring – Chasing” as I call it, you know. Going to a team that’s already pretty established and trying to win a ring with them. I want to stay with the Cavs and build a champion.”

  32. What do you mean he had nothing to do with any of those things? So Nike just put a gun to his head and forced him to sign a deal? He never got a tattoo embracing “The Chosen One” title? Look, I understand the guy was put under a microscope since he was in high school but he has brought a lot of the attention whether positive or negative on himself and that is why he is disliked so much and he is not the first player that this has happened to i.e. Kobe

  33. @ Miles: Because you would’ve said no to all that money, obviously. And being told you’re the “Chosen One” all your life wouldn’t affect your mindset at all. More power to you if you really are the most humble guy in the world. The attention was brought on him mainly because everybody wanted him to be the next Jordan and they’re disappointed he hasn’t followed in Jordan’s footsteps. It happened to Kobe; it’s happening to LeBron. All the “Jordan wouldn’t have done this or done that” sentiment from a lot of people is laughable.

    And lol @ Jono: Garnett stayed with the TImberwolves for how long? And what did he have to show for it? All the respect in the world from you? I’m sure that means more to him than the ring he got with Boston. He’s already said in interview if he had to do it all over again, he would’ve got out sooner.

  34. Whoever wrote this article is a complete moron. And so are most of you who are lebron haters. Hes arrogant? Hes cocky? WHO ISNT IN THE NBA!?!?!??!?! Ever since the “Decision” in which ESPN and his friends convinced him to do, he has stayed away from controversy, and has said all the right things. Go back and look at every press conference and interviews after games, even the Cleveland ones when media would try to get something out of him. HE ALWAYS TOOK THE HIGH ROAD. Not to mention the $ 3 million that went to the Boys and Girls club just from saying what team hes going to. OH YEAH WHAT A DEVIL!!!!! Morons.

    While Mike Vick kills dogs and is gaining all of you fans by his play on the field, haters choose to hate on LeBron James all the time, whos actually played in a championship series unlike Vick.


  35. I personaly thought if Lebron was so great that the Cavs would have been fine without him becuase the great ones make their teammates better. You don’t have back to back 60 wins seasons by yourself. I think its a joke that people consider him great. He is a GREAT talent, but I don’t know if he has the championship mindset at this point in his career. Which will put his “greatness” on hold. He had that winners mentality until he actually made it to the finals in 07. Then he got to be insanely cocky, he took that lesser Cavs team to the finals. They were no better that year than they were in 09 or 10. No excuses for this kid. I thought the 09 team had the potential to win the ship that year. But Lebron’s ego and stat padding got in the way like usual. It is partly the media’s fault that he has been a failure. Stop comparing him to Jordan, he isn’t Jordan. He is a rich man’s Scottie Pippen and always will be until he gets that killer instict back. Then he will be more like Magic, he doesn’t even play like Jordan. This league will never see the killer instict in its highest form again after KG, Duncan, and Kobe all retire.

  36. @ Johnathan did he have to have a one hour special to donate that money to the boys and girls club? he didn’t come out for the their intros the first time in Cleveland thats weak sauce bro, he doesn’t like looking like the bad guy.

  37. @Brady his decision was worth around $3 Million dollars, he made sure it went to a good cause and no1 elses pockets. He couldve tweeted he was going to the Heat and no donations made. ESPN convinced him to televise it and thats when the charity thing came about. He didnt come out in intros the second time in Cleveland cuz he was taking a dump. He was gonna get booed all night why the hell would he not come out for intros if he could. Makes no sense. There’s still no shred of evidence that he’s cocky or arrogant. He gives back to the community, interviews well, and is respectful. Everyones just mad he went to the heat to team up with wade and they did that celebration.

  38. @Jonathan well isn’t that convient that he just HAD to go to the restroom, be a man get out there with your team, seems like a GREAT teammate. There is a lot of ppl who give back to the communtity and interview well doesn’t mean they aren’t cocky or arrogant. Let’s see here making fun of Dirk for being sick REAL RESPECTFUL there, telling people that they can get back to their sucky lives REAL RESPECTFUL there too. As for cocky and arrogant he calls himself the king, talks in 3rd person, has a tattoo that says chosen one, yeah those things ARE’NT COCKY or ARROGANT at all…he could have tweeted it, and made a donation so don’t act the donation covers up how ARROGANT that ESPN Special really was. I knew exactly where he was goin after he changed his practice number to 6. Even if ESPN did try to talk him into doing that special, he could have said no, but he decided to be an ARROGANT joke. I hated him when he was Cleveland so I don’t hate him for leaving, or how he left. Do I hate how he handled free agentency? Yes yes I do. He could have at least let Cleveland know that he wasn’t coming back so they could have signed a player to at least remain cometive.

  39. To whoever felt like saying it was bad for me to use Kobe because he was disliked (He’s not anymore.. seriously, ask anyone. Who hates Kobe? Other than maybe diehard Celtic fans)

    Everything dude touches is gold. His team got swept by the Mavs and he took 1 shot at the rim (layup/dunk) and no one even mentions that.

    Artest is certifiable? Sure. The guy is crazy. And that excludes him from his statements I guess?

    Also, please read my original post. I started with Derrick Rose stating how he said he was going to win multiple championships.

    You guys HAVE to realize that SOME of this hate at least is irrational. People act like LeBron has failed every 4th quarter in his career at this point. I’ll be the first to acknowledge he sucked against the Mavs. He disappeared when his team needed him. But against Boston? Chicago? He closed them out every game.

    Rose shot 7% in the fourth quarter against the Heat and Lebron’s defense. No one says he choked. And he won MVP. Or are we agreeing that he doesn’t deserve that criticism because he is nowhere near LeBron’s level. Gotta give in somewhere.

    Love you all. :)

  40. D-Rose easily choked I will say that, you are right I do hate Kobe because I am a diehard Celts fan. I don’t really care for Rose either. Great talent but he certainly folded. Lebron did seem to have his killer incset for those two series then he came back down to Earth against the Mavs.

  41. To look at this subjectively I used to get mad at Pierce for a long time cause I didn’t think he took it seriously enough, KG changed all that.


  43. Personally..I like LBJ when he’s in Cavs..he broke his promise that he never leave until he got atleast one ring..but what he do he leave them for what..for Heat to Join in the one of strongest team and to Join to Wade and Bosh..when he do that..i personally don’t like him..yeah he’s a great player but prove it..u can’t say he’s the greatest..he’s like Jordan..and NO ONE CAN COMPARE TO MJ..Even my idol Kobe..MJ is greatest player of all..if he’s like MJ..why he do a thing..That MJ never did..MJ didn’t stop until he made ring like KoBe..Kobe is the best..he so loyal imagine..almost half of his life spend to the Lakers..I Love him so much..But i don’t hate LBJ..he’s a great player..i know one day he can make a the right time.

  44. You guys HAVE to realize that SOME of this hate at least is irrational. People act like LeBron has failed every 4th quarter in his career at this point. I’ll be the first to acknowledge he sucked against the Mavs. He disappeared when his team needed him. But against Boston? Chicago? He closed them out every game.
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