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LeBron James says Heat was criticized far worse than Lakers

January 11, 2013|By Melissa Rohlin
  • LeBron James, right, says Kobe Bryant and the Lakers aren't facing anywhere near the criticism the Miami Heat took in James' first year with the team.
LeBron James, right, says Kobe Bryant and the Lakers aren't facing… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

The Lakers, who were favored to reach the NBA Finals before the season began, are in risk of not even making the playoffs.

Woe is them?

Not exactly, according to LeBron James.

“No one will ever be able to compare what we went through,” James said Thursday. “Even though they’re not winning and they’re losing a lot of games, it’s still nowhere near what we went through.

“Yeah, right. That level of magnitude was nowhere near where ours was two years ago. Nothing. Nothing compares to it.”

The Miami Heat were the team that everyone loved to hate after they built an empire by acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade in 2010. It didn't help that James announced his decision to leave Cleveland and join the Heat in an over-the-top TV special called "The Decision," a show that alienated many fans.

On road trips during the 2010-11 season, the Heat were greeted by insults and homemade signs by fans who loathed the lopsided team.

Wade, agreeing with James, doesn't think the Lakers have it anywhere near as bad.

“Because of everything that happened in 2010 with off-season signings, it was, automatically, just a lot of negative things that was said about us,” Wade said. “[The Lakers] didn’t go through that at the beginning. They didn’t go through anything negative about bringing those guys together, so ours started off bad and it stayed bad for a while, and then we got better.”

The Lakers are being talked about as one of the most disappointing teams in basketball history.

The 16-time champions, who have Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, can't even muster a winning record, a notion that would have seemed laughable after they built their own empire during the off-season.

The Lakers have missed playoffs only twice since 1976.

“It’s the Lakers,” Wade said. “They’re America’s team. I keep saying it. They’re the standard of what the NBA has been for years, Boston and the Lakers. But the Lakers are in L.A., the big market. So, from that standpoint, you understand it. You get it.”

Wade thinks that the Lakers, or at least most of them, may have not been prepared for the type of scrutiny that they're receiving this season.

“I know [Kobe Bryant] understands it,” Wade said. “That’s the nature of the beast out in L.A. I don’t know if every player that comes through there understands what you’re getting yourself into when you walk through those Lakers doors.”


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