Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 9:10 am  |  51 responses

Isiah Thomas: People Dislike LeBron James Because of His Success

The LeBron/Wade/Bosh charity hoops game will be played at the school where Isiah Thomas coaches next Saturday, and Zeke theorizes as to why the public sometimes gets mad at James. From the Sun-Sentinel: “With the lockout,’ [Thomas] said, ‘there’s basically no rules, but that doesn’t mean that guys still don’t want to play. The guys want to play basketball, they love the game and they really play for the love of the game. I just hope during this period that the players and owners remember what has made this league great, and what has made it great has been the partnership between the owners and the players.’ Even with FIU’s arena under renovation, Thomas has made sure there has been a lockout home on the west side of town for the likes of Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Juwan Howard, Jannero Pargo and Damien Wilkins. And now he is about to host the biggest current name of them all, LeBron James. And that could just as easily have Isiah reverting back to the black hat, because for all the derision James experienced with the Heat last season, Thomas experienced something starkly similar during his championship days in the Pistons’ ‘Bad Boys’ era. ‘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.’ At the moment, though, Thomas has nothing to be upset with, just a high-profile NBA game on his low-profile campus, with proceeds to honor his late mother. ‘When they said that they wanted to do the game for my mom,’ he said, ‘I cried, really.’”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://slamonline.com Sean

    People who get upset and jealous of LeBron’s success really need to sort their lives out. He’s a Basketball player, just watch and enjoy the game, and appreciate seeing greatness in front of you.

  • Soam

    This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. There are other basketball players who have had a lot more success yet are still beloved. (Jordan, Wade, Duncan, Shaq) His lack of success is actually much more likely the culprit. If you want to argue that its unfair, then that’s fine. But saying people hate Lebron because of his success is like saying people hate mugsy bogues because of how freakishly tall he is.

  • thor

    Another Zeke bummer

  • robb

    Isiah always seems to have the wrong idea about everything.

  • Ali

    @ Soam…Trust there are plently of NBA fans who hate Jordan, Wade, Duncan, and Shaq. I hate them when they are playing my fav team. All of the guys you named fought tooth and nail to get rings. I watched all the Finals games this past season, and can’t say the same for Lebron. The majority of the haters love Lebron’s game but dispise his actions off the court over the past year or so. It’ll take him winning one, two, three, four, five championships, (as he put it) to shut the haters down! But until then we gonna keep sippin’ on our HATER-AID! Keep it in the game…

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    I think he get’s hated on alot because he had so much d!ckriders in Cleveland.

  • T-Money

    i think a lot of people are put off because lebron is not grateful for what he has and doesn’t consider himself lucky. he knows he is exceptional and he doesn’t pretend otherwise. fans usually like sports icons to be almost apologetic for their riches – bron is not that dude. he had a gift and the work ethic to nurture that gift and monetize it, he won’t give you any “never in a million years did i expect to be this successful” kind of speech. i get that. same way i understood what melo meant when he won some award and thanked himself for the hard work he put in. i also get why some fans would feel disconnected from that. my only question would be why you are looking to connect to nba players in the first place but that’s another.

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    The moment Lebron James called himself King James without ever winning a sh*t was the moment most basketball fans began to dislike him. At least that’s my case.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    You do know that it was a nickname given to him by a reporter in HS, right?
    Nevermind…..hate on.

  • dma

    All the great players get hated on when they’re at the top of their game, so Lebron should expect no less.

  • 23

    If lebron james played in a PRE-MEDIA filled NBA, he would not have been so hated. But of course anytime he sneezes its written about and put on all these websites and espn. Lebron is a hardworker and a great teamate. And he wants to win so badly. That is enough for me to respect him as a player.

  • robb

    @JTaylor yeah but he calls people and says: “what’s up this is King James” I mean, c’mon!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So…..it’s a crime to have a nickname?

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • NJ4Life

    If anything, people hate LeBron because his success has been so limited, yet his ego says otherwise.

  • Zabbah

    What does this mean: “Nobody cares about the loser. Everybody likes the loser.”


    @UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER – Bronx Tale is a GREAT movie man. One of my favorites.


    I don’t hate a man who chokes in the 4th quarter. I feel sorry for him. Sorta like I don’t hate Tony Romo…another front runner who has some epic chokes when all the chips are on the table. lol

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Well….how many Finals has Melo being in with all his 4th qtr heroics?


    Location location LeTaylor.

  • O

    I don’t HATE LeBron, but as a former fan of the man, I hate that he quit on his team and took his talents to theeee worst sports state in the US. They don’t care about anything other than partying. Marlins, World Series Champions and played to half empty stadiums throughout that playoff run. Tampa Bay Rays made it to the world series and could barely fill half the stadium. Heat made it to the Finals and people sold their tix to Maverick fans and still couldn’t sell out the place. This is the place where you want to bring a title(s) and become “immortal”? Son could’ve brought a title to Cleveland or NYC and been a God to those fans. Instead, he’ll be Robin to D-Wade’s Batman and Chris Bosh’s Catwoman…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21


  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Agree with T-Money and NJ4Life.

  • http://therurbangriot.com The NUPE

    There are a lot of things to hate – rather strongly dislike about LeBron. I don’t believe it’s about his success or his lack of success. I think a lot of people ‘hated’ him when he was dancing on the sidelines when the Cavs were blowing out an oponent. People hate that he says things about how his game ‘spoils’ the fans, he says things like ‘i’m going to take my talents to…” and comments like “ya’ll are going back to your old lives and problems…” The nickname may be part of it too for some people, but like ‘magic’ the nickname was earned before he got into the NBA and bestowed upon him by others’ so I don’t think “king James” should be used against him. The guy is a great, great player (at least for 3 quarters) and that can’t be taken away from him. But things like ‘The Decision’ and his seemingly lack of a humble bone in his body are, in my opinion, why people hate him. He’s yet to get into any real trouble off the court and all his former/current team mates like him, he’s stayed loyal to his HS friends (which isn’t always the case with NBA stars), he gives a ton of money to charity etc… There are many reasons not to hate the guy, but I can understand why some people (a lot of people) do.

  • http://shinefluidpt2@aol.com yada

    the fact that ppl get got so much disdain for a guy they watch on tv who plays ball is craaazzzy to me. ebron dont owe u a damn thing. ask yourself this, what would the league be like if lebron disapeared? hell he brought excitement to the game

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    What T-Money said. And people take their sports too seriously.

  • RaZkOL

    Ah Isiah Thomas….. Can still see clearly his coward @$$ walking off the court with the rest of his team when my Bulls stomped them. So long ago, yet it feels like yesterday. He will always be a punk. And I didn’t like how ‘Bron left Cleveland, but dude got game. I’ll take my boy D. ROSE though.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I have to agree with Isiah. At this point even without a ring LeBron is better then Jordan. With future NBA MVP Chris Bosh on his team they should win the championship when the lock out ends

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Awesome. I just LOVE it when my long comments don’t post.

  • bike

    When you have the potential to be the G.O.A.T. like Lebron, everything you do, positive or negative, is magnified 1000 times. BTW, no one likes Isiah because he is an a##hole.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    bike, ….uhmm… nevermind..

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’m guessing the person that’s using my name is one of those laker swamp rats, either Nick the Quick or the Seed. Keep up the bad work, fellas.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    That’s interesting. I wonder why Zeke thinks there are people who hate him then…

  • robb

    Isiah got it wrong as usual because actually people hate Lebron because his ego doesn’t match his actual accomplishments. All Lebron has to do is to win one championship, and people will start liking him more I’m sure.

  • Dyce

    I think just as many people hated Kobe. But Kobe just got to the point he was so good and won enough that even if you hate him you have to respect him. All Lebron has to do is win then even if you dont like him you have to respect him and leave the comments to yourself.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Dyce with the truth.

  • truthteller

    It’s funny everyone has something to say about the hate for lebron! Where was this discussion for KObe who everyone knows is hated 10times more than Lebron? GTFOH!

  • Wray

    Nice to see that after all these years, Zeke is still talkin’ straight out of his ass. People hate Miami because three of its players pulled one of the biggest dick moves in sports history. LeBron was the one yapping on about the multiple championships in an effort to fuel his media coverage and lashed out (although not as much as its been made out to be) at fans when they failed. I’ll be the first to admit, LeBron is a hell of an athlete and a credit to the NBA, but I take exception to the idea of someone who’s never won a championship fronting like they’re a champion and deserve legendary status without actually accomplishing much. Hell, I straight-out HATE Kobe Bryant, but its impossible not to respect a dude with five chips and almost Jordan-like (ALMOST) status in the game. LeBron can earn that same type of respect, but because of his Hollywood ego and inability to shut his goddamned mouth, he’ll continue to wear that villain crown.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    smh… i see half of you are still butthurt from the decision… ^^^ btw kobe’s arrogance > lebron’s arrogance. by a mile

  • RaZkOL

    Kobe IS arrogant…But he got 5 championships to back that up. Lebron is just as arrogant and has NOTHING to back it up except fourth quarter meltdowns. He couldn’t hack being the man so he had to go to miami so he could defer to Wade (See NBA Finals If u think not). He shows all the signs of being soft.

  • RaZkOL

    I’m no Kobe fan (fact is I’m from Chicago, My boy is Rose), in fact I like Lebron more than Kobe, but he hasn’t shown anything except being a punk. Great talent,horrible attitude. He should shut up and let his game talk. Nuff said. And Isiah is still and always will be a B!+c#.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    kobe was arrogant before the rings fam… but you knew that already. Personally the idea that lebron was really arrogant always seemed like a media created thing to me. what’s arrogant about admitting you need significant help? Nothing. You know what arrogance is? chasing away a top 5 all time center and sure-fire hall of famer bc you want to be “the man”, and you think you can do it all on your own. shown nothing? please…. Lebron James is statistically and realistically the best player in the league right now. Jordan hadn’t even sniffed the finals when he was the same age, and without shaq kobe DEFINITELY wouldn’t have .your favorite team would trade their entire starting 5 for him… 4th quarter meltdowns or not. Make all the hairline jokes you want.. it won’t change a thing. Does he struggle in the clutch? absolutely.. but everybody does for a while. It’ll get better. also part of the reason lebron differed to wade was that he had a more favorable matchup, and that dallas was throwing enormous pressure on him(lebron) but that’s another argument.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    people just let the media spin stuff for them.. nobody actually thinks any more smh. but for the record, you’re right. isiah is still a b!+c#

  • Yesse

    I don’t exactly hate on LeBron, but i wouldn’t call him succesful compared to the other players of his caliber. He has 2 MVP’s and is probably the best player in the league, but zero championships. He always seems to give up in the end. If he would just make the final push, he would already probably have 2 championships.

  • billy

    The Decision. its’ all about The Decision. The fact is, people made it what they wanted James to be; the small town hero who made it out of High school, who coulda stayed with his folky team, be The Man, instead of running off to hook up with another megastar. He did not. Great players stuck with their teams, lose or win. But its now about the rings. But then again, had James stayed in Cleveland, and never won a ring, wonder if the hero thing would have rode for long..its all twisted.

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    to all who said it was the media calling him “King James”: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/6/10/2217336/lebron-james-king-nba-finals-2011

  • BBaller

    Success is perceived in different ways, great player, but James is yet to be successful in my eyes. He has failed badly for being the arrogant douche that he has portrayed himself as over the last year.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Breathe datkid. Breathe.

  • Peaceman Crapped In NJ

    All this time i thought Isaiah has been dead & buried in a septic tank in Purchase NY. Whoa i was wrong.

    LeBra James, The Choking One, wants to play in China so he can buddy up with Stephanie Marbury, the hi-skool intramural chump

  • Peaceman Crapped in NJ

    Zeke still alive? Thouhgt Isaiah died & is buried in a septic tank in Purchase NY. I heard Mickey Arison, DWade & Riles begged LeBra to return his talents back to Ohio