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Odell Beckham Jr. Talks Giants, ESPN Interview, LeBron James on UNINTERRUPTED

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 13, 2018

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham warms up before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. opened up on a series of topics ranging from his controversial interview with ESPN to wanting to be a leader like LeBron James. 

In an interview on UNINTERRUPTED, Beckham reflected on his interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson in which he called out the Giants' heart and effort: 

"The things that I said, could they have been handled a different way? I think when you look back on anything, and there's things that are conflicting, you always look back and be like 'it could have been handled a different way.' ... My message was to be nothing more than encouraging everybody to be their very best. To pick it up even more than you have. To dedicate and sacrifice more than you ever have."

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported the Giants fined Beckham for his original comments. 

Beckham added LeBron James is someone who he has "looked up to" and "whose footsteps he's trying to follow in," but that he doesn't quite have the ability to convey his message in the same way as the four-time NBA MVP. 

"I'm trying my very best to be like LeBron" Beckham said. "To be a LeBron, in my own way. He's been at the top; he's been to championships. He's done a lot. But to see the way he carries himself, it's like that's what I want. That's what I'm reaching for, is a legacy."

Despite the Giants' 1-5 start, Beckham remains optimistic that the team is capable of turning things around: 

"I'm very optimistic because of ... the way we responded (after the ESPN interview). The way that we came out and fought and played. ... You've gotta think about the games we lost, we lost the first game by four points, and I felt like I could have had four touchdowns. I felt like I could've really helped. Second game (against the Dallas Cowboys), they got on us. Third game, we won, and we played with a lot of energy and heart."

Beckham has emerged as the face of the Giants franchise since being drafted in 2014. The 25-year-old had over 1,300 receiving yards and at least 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. 

The Giants invested heavily in Beckham during the offseason, giving him a five-year contract extension that included a record $40.96 million in guaranteed money. 

Given the premium New York has placed on Beckham, it's essential for him to become a leader if the Giants are going to return to the playoffs. His ability to reflect on a tumultuous week is a positive first step for the three-time Pro Bowler. 

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