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LeBron James: Miami Heat Superstar Is the Most Hated Man in All of Sports

Greg Maiola@Gom1094Senior Analyst IIFebruary 27, 2012

LeBron James
LeBron James

Forget the recent list of the top 10 most hated athletes. Anybody who hasn't been living under a rock for the past two years knows that LeBron James is the most hated athlete in America. And it seems that he can never escape controversy.

The "decision" to leave Cleveland made James, one of America's favorite athletes, into an enemy. You know the story—how James conducted himself and how the Big Three formed. No need to beat a dead horse. Having said that, James' image has been forever tarnished and his legacy will not reflect his basketball abilities.

Michael Jordan can sleep a little easier at nights.

James has dominated in the regular season but has yet to win a title. Having said that, if and when he wins his title, fans will consider it tainted. They will question what took so long. Rather than having the NBA celebrate a championship in Cleveland, fans will ridicule James if he ever wins one in Miami.

James just can't escape the drama that comes with being the "King." He needed Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to join him in Miami. He cannot carry the load on his own. He is no Kobe Bryant. James cannot lead a team to victory in the clutch; why else would he bolt to Miami?

Now, the NBA has to  the consequences of James' actions. The idea of forming a team with All-Stars is throwing off the balance in the league. The Boston Celtics did things the right way; they traded and gave up talent to acquire their men.

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James waited until free agency to team up with a hot shot and he wanted lots of money. Overnight, he went from one city's hero to one nation's villain.

So at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, why wouldn't James be the king of controversy? For crying out loud, it's the All-Star Game; defense isn't played and teams score points like it's no big deal.

With the game on the line and the ball in James' hand with seconds to go, he was scared of Kobe and didn't want to be the hero. He was so scared to shoot the ball that he turned it over, essentially losing the game for the East.

Hey LeBron, it's the All-Star Game. Take the shot.

Was James scared of missing? Was he scared of the spotlight? Was he scared of Kobe? Who knows and frankly, who cares? It was just the All-Star Game.

But whatever you do, do not feel bad for James. He did this to himself.

LeBron has the talent to win multiple championships, just not the guts. He needs to step up with the game on the line. He must improve in the clutch. The whiplash of not shooting the ball in the All-Star Game could be a great thing for James. The next time a situation like that arises, you better believe James is shooting that ball.

So while James' personal actions and choices have cost him respect around the league, he is stuck with the Heat for some time. He says he has learned from his decisions, but he hasn't learned how to play in the clutch.

Until James can win some games that truly matter and do the right things off of the court, he will continue to lack respect.

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