LeBron James issued this statement on his Web site Tuesday afternoon.
Congratulations Mavericks on the championship
…especially Dirk, J.Kidd, & Terry who have done so much for our league and worked so hard to get here. They deserve all the credit for what they have accomplished. Thank you to all my family, friends and especially the fans for standing by me this year. Miami fans are incredible. A special thank you to my teammates, coaches and Pat Riley and Micky Arison for all of their support. A lot to learn from this year, a lot to build on, and a lot of work to do this summer.
Much like his press conference comments, what you read into that statement really says more about how you feel about LeBron than anything else. A lot of Mavericks players took things like him and Dwyane Wade poking fun at Dirk’s cough personally, and used it as motivation.
If I were LeBron’s PR person, I’d tell him after today it’s time to lay low for the summer. Work on your game, take a vacation but just lay low.
Say what you will about him, LeBron James did not shy away from the assembled media on Tuesday and took on the tough questions about his game and his post game comments.
It was those comments — saying about all the people who rooting against him “tomorrow they have to wake up and have the same life that (they had) before” — that drew a firestorm and suggested LeBron was the same arrogant guy from “The Decision” and the Heat’s pep rally.
LeBron said it was not intended like that at all. (Quotes via the twitter account of Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.)
“It wasn’t saying I’m better or superior than anyone else. I would never look at myself as bigger.”
“It was interpreted different than what I wanted…Everyone has to move on with their lives and I do, too.”
LeBron also took questions about his play in the finals, which late in the series seemed passive in the face of Dallas giving him any defensive pressure. Earlier in the day Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that all the criticism of James’ play was unfair. (To me it seems discussion and criticism of his play is the thing that is most fair, the rest is the sideshow.)
“I didn’t play up to my own standards. Did that cost us losing the Finals? I don’t know. But I’m not satisfied with my performance.”
“I could have played better… I put a lot of pressure not to let my teammates down . . . maybe to a fault at times.”
These quotes are a Rorschach test of what you think of LeBron. People will see in these quotes what they want. LeBron’s backers will say that he is humble and learned lessons from the Heat’s loss. Those who can’t stand him will say it was all just PR. The quotes really say more about what you think about LeBron than having much other insight.
In the end, the only thing that can silence those who hate him are championship rings. And LeBron understands that.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban said it best after the game: “Our fans punked the s— out of Miami’s fans.”
It was obvious in the building with a fair amount of blue shirts sprinkled in among the white, especially close to the Dallas bench area. It became louder and more obvious as the game went on — even on the television broadcast — as the Mavericks fans became vocal and louder than the Heat fans.
But how did they even get in a sold out building? The Miami Herald has the answer.
Michael Lipman, whose company helps resell Heat seats, said Heat ticket holders sold 150 seats to Mavericks fans after the Mavs’ premium seat department inquired. Dallas fans paid as much as $3,000 for first- and second-row seats by the Mavericks’ bench in Game 6, as much as $2,000 a few rows back.
“In Dallas, not one person sold to Heat fans,” Lipman said. “They have longtime loyal fans there.” In Miami, with some of the best seats, “you didn’t necessarily have only Heat fans, but wealthy individuals who are basketball fans and wanted to be a part of this. Some of the fans here said, ‘If I sell this game, it will pay for my whole playoff invoice.’”
That’s not “Fan Up,” Miami. Oh, this is too easy. Fish in a barrel. Just insert your own jokes about Heat fans and their bandwagon nature here, you can do a dozen off the top of your head, too.