I think most of the hate for Lebron comes from irrational or ignorant reasons. I’m not a fan of Lebron at all but I have definitely noticed he is EASILY the most hated athlete in my lifetime. I have a lot of friends who dislike Lebron James. I’ve asked them why they hate Lebron and here are the reasons they told me:
- “Lebron is a whiny crybaby and a flopper” Of course, this can be applied to a lot of modern day NBA players, not just Lebron. The game has changed and flopping is pretty commonplace as a way to get extra points which will help win the game
- “Lebron started superteams” This is not true of course, unless we’re talking specifically about free agency. The first ‘superteam’ was created back in 1969 when Lakers traded basically nobodies to get Wilt Chamberlain on their team to team up with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor to beat Russell. So what’s the difference between an organization trading for a superteam ie. 1983 76ers, 2008 Celtics etc vs superteams created in free agency? Honestly, not that much. Lebron could have just forced the Cavs to trade him to Miami and Miami management could have traded for Bosh and it would be the same thing, but he wouldn’t have gotten as much hate, somehow.
- “Lebron called himself the GOAT” Yeah this turned a lot of people off, but I think part of the reason why people got turned off is because they took Lebron seriously. If any other player called himself the GOAT people would just roll their eyes. Draymond Green called himself the GOAT defender. KAT called himself the GOAT shooting big man. People just roll their eyes. But when Lebron called himself the GOAT, since Lebron legitimately has an argument to be the GOAT, people took him seriously and of course he comes off as arrogant and a prima donna. However, when Muhammed Ali called himself the GOAT people were ok with it, so go figure.
- “Lebron is too political” which is funny because a lot of greats were political. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and (once again) Muhammed Ali were political. However, because they were fighting for civil rights, which people see as a worthy cause. Lebron’s political because of BLM and that’s a much more polarizing cause than civil rights.
- “Lebrons fans are annoying” And they’re annoying because they think Lebron is the GOAT. Which is funny, because they’re just fans being fans. What’s different about Bron fans? Kobe fans think he’s the GOAT. Jordan fans think he’s the GOAT. Wilt fans think he’s the GOAT. Nobody has issues with those fanbases. The problem is, people (particularly Jordan and Kobe fans) don’t like that Lebron has a legit case to be the GOAT, so it annoys them. Then they try to discredit Lebron as much as possible by saying he needed a superteam, his Finals record sucks, he was stat padding, he’s overrated by the media, he played in the weak East etc anything to convince themselves that Lebron isn’t all that great and that Jordan or Kobe were still superior. That’s why a lot of NBA fans dislike Lebron fans and are eager to accuse people of being ‘bronsexuals’. Because they don’t like the thought of Lebron being the GOAT. I in fact get called a ‘bron dick rider’ or ‘bron fanboy’ or ‘bronsexual’ just for defending Lebron against all the slander that’s said about him online, even though I’m not a fan of his at all. I even told people Jordan was my personal GOAT, and they didn’t believe me and said Lebron was ‘lowkey’ my GOAT because I defended Lebron. lol, imagine telling someone that their personal opinion that you agree with is wrong because they defended a player you disliked. That’s insane.
- “The media talks about Lebron too much” This one I agree with. However, I don’t think that media always praises Lebron as much as people think. In fact, I find that the media just likes to talk about Lebron no matter what the news is, whether positive or negative. Lebron’s problem is that he tends to tweet too much and overpromise about things i.e ‘not one not two not three..’ or ‘playoff mode activated’ or ‘keep the energy’ etc and he shoots himself in the foot this way. The media reports on this and NBA fans on social media all pile up on him because he’s an easy target. The media feeds on these haters and further reports anything negative about Lebron, whatever quote some player said (i.e Dennis Rodman saying how he could lock up Lebron easily or Imam Shumpert saying Lebron ruined basketball) then they post that. Whenever an analyst says anything negative about Lebron (ie. Stephen A Smith saying Lakers should trade Lebron or Brian Windhorst saying Lebron wears out organizations) the media posts about it. So the media actually posts a lot of negative stuff about Lebron, all the time.
What I find is that in general, the people who hate on Lebron usually don’t know much about basketball, and only have a very shallow view of it. Using stuff like Finals records to judge a player is dumb and misses a lot of context about the teams and strength of opponents etc. Using stuff like counting # of Hall of Famers he played with is also dumb and misses the context about whether those players were in their prime or if they were healthy. Using stuff like ‘stat padding’ is also dumb because what is stat padding exactly? It’s just a way to hate on a player that you don’t like when they have a good game. When a player you do like (i.e scores 81 points) has a stat heavy game then you praise them. Or they are simply ignorant about NBA history like not knowing that superteams is a concept that has existed for a long time. Or they try to discredit Lebron as much as possible by saying he played in a weak conference, he won a ‘bubble ring’, he ‘ruins’ teams by joining them, he ‘makes his teammates worse’, etc whatever BS narrative they want to create for Lebron and rarely do they give any kind of evidence for these takes, or they use very distorted views or misleading information about Lebron like he missed the most shots in the Finals or has the most turnovers (of course, he played more Finals games than any other modern player and handles the ball more often than any other modern player). Most of what the haters use are disingenuous arguments about Lebron, and not very well informed, or they heard what Stephen A Smith or Skip Bayless said and just regurgitates their misinformed opinions.