LeBron James is used to criticism.
He’s dealt with it since he was a high school basketball phenom in Akron, Ohio. Although James thinks it’s part of being a professional athlete, he said critics may have gone too far with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum in his first NBA Finals appearance.
“Listen, usually, to people who say shit is shit that never entered the arena,” James said in the latest edition of HBO’s “The Shop.” “Theodore Roosevelt, ‘The Man in the Arena,’ talks about it. Man, it’s so easy to fuck people when you… They never raised their blood pressure or heart rate above a 60 and they here tell you what you have to do, how you have to kick, how you have to play this role, how you have to paint.”
Tatum battled inconsistency in the Celtics’ 4-2 loss to the Golden State Warriors, who won their fourth title since 2015. James compared it to when he led the Cleveland Cavaliers against a seasoned San Antonio side Spurs in the 2007 Finals. The Cavs were swept 4-0.
“It’s like Jayson Tatum is a beast,” James said. “He hasn’t played to his standards… As a guy, he’s had a hell of a season and these guys aren’t even 25 yet. He’ll be back. He’s got nothing to hang his hat on. He’s played against the same team my first final. I played against Spurs. It’s the same shit and they took advantage of the fact that I didn’t know much.”
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