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LeBron James Mouths Off on Cleveland Cavaliers: Is He Killing His Media Image?

MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 07: LeBron James #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots against the Miami Heat at the Bradley Center on January 7, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Heat defeated the Bucks 101-95 in overtime. The Heat defeated the Bucks 101-95 in overtime. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
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Dmitriy IoselevichSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 12, 2011

LeBron James has never been shy about speaking his mind, and he felt the need to speak up once again in the aftermath of Cleveland's historic 112-57 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time," James wrote via his Twitter account. "It's not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"

The 57 points were the least Cleveland has ever scored in a game, and the loss was the team's 11th straight, dropping them to an NBA-worst 8-30.

James has already beaten the Cavaliers this season, scoring 38 points and dishing eight assists in an easy road victory. But despite the fact that his Miami Heat now have the best record in the Eastern Conference, James is still acting like a victim.

The culprit?

None other than Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, who felt the need to write a vicious letter attacking LeBron once James announced that he was signing with the Heat. In that letter, Gilbert called LeBron's handling of the free agency process a "shameful display of selfishness and betrayal."

Then Gilbert took it a step further and cursed LeBron's new team: "The self-declared former 'King' will be taking the 'curse' with him down south. And until he does 'right' by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma."

Gilbert had good reason to be upset with James and the atrocity that was his nationally televised "Decision." But to personally attack the player that singlehandedly made the Cavaliers into championship contenders, and to suggest that he quit on his team in the playoffs, was both childish and disrespectful.

LeBron clearly hasn't forgiven his former owner, and he seized the opportunity to kick the Cavaliers when they were already down. But is it bad sportsmanship to condemn a franchise and a city that has already suffered through so much?

Probably, but here's the thing: LeBron James isn't trying to make any friends. He's accepted his role as villain, and he knows that there's only one thing he can do to get the critics off his back—win.

LeBron is doing exactly that. His Heat are 30-9 and winners of 21 of their last 22. James, meanwhile, is averaging a team-best 25.3 ppg and 7.2 apg—prompting some debate about his MVP credentials. 

Nothing LeBron says will change the way people feel about him. Too much damage has been done already. The only way LeBron can improve his media image is if he continues to perform on the court and deliver on his promise to bring Miami not just one NBA championship, but five or six.

Until then, this undeclared feud between James and Gilbert will continue like two children fighting over the last cookie. The only difference is that LeBron has a chance to one day improve his image; Gilbert already shattered his.

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