Via ESPN's Brian Windhorst, LeBron James recently said "I was very immature," regarding last year's infamous "same life that they had before" quote. That one was uttered after the 2011 Finals, on the American Airlines Arena presser podium. In theory, James' recognition of such a press conference faux pas is illustrative of personal growth.
Though, on that same dais, after triumphantly winning the 2012 title, LeBron eschewed popular conceptions of maturity to emphasize that a ring is still a ring despite the short lockout season. Considering the NBA playoff's protracted playoff slog, LeBron wasn't having it:
"Sh--, we coulda' played one regular season game."
It was James' final quote of evening, he ducked out after that. I loved the the sentence as it buzzed my ears, and wrote it down instantly. In my mind, it was a funny, unvarnished rebuke to those who might minimize a Herculean playoff performance.
I asked some Miami Heat beat reporters if they had heard him curse in a presser before. No one could recall such an instance. Given how unusual a move this was for Bron, I'm curious as to why he did it.
Allow me to play armchair psychologist. LeBron James has been forced to swallow the anger that floods in his direction. Defiance doesn't play to his advantage, not when the public is already against him. Maybe, in his grandest moment, at a time when few would care if he slipped, James snuck in a little act of defiance on the way out.
Maybe he was just tired or gleeful enough to be apathetic to social mores. My preferred take: LeBron was relieving a different kind of pressure, the type that builds up when you always absorb insults, chin to the sky. Many wanted James' humanity on display. Would he cry like MJ? Would he rant and rave like KG? LeBron was robotic in the center court interview, giving little away. At the end of the night, when most were asleep, he let some humanity seep through the veneer.