NBA Miami Heat

Lebron James May Still Not be Liked, but Must be Respected

Steve Mitchell-US Presswire

Over the past several years it’s hard to argue against Lebron James being the most scrutinized athlete in all of sports, and without question the most scrutinized in the NBA. But the years of playoff disappointments and late-game failures finally disappeared for the King in 2011-12 as the Miami Heat took home the Larry O’Brien trophy.

So what should the perception of Lebron James be heading into the 2012-13 season?

There are a lot of Lebron haters out there, and no matter how well he performs, they will still not give him the time of day. I however, am slowly converting from Lebron-hater status. I give respect where respect is due, and James earned my respect last season.

The guy played with the weight of the basketball world on his shoulders. Every move he made, and shot he took, was subject to criticism by NBA analysts everywhere; but he found a way to rise above it all and finally won his first championship.

Now all that being said, I’m certainly not converting to a Lebron fan. James is just simply the best basketball player in the world, and he proved it on the grandest stage, so I’m no longer going to hate. Hating at this point is just foolish. You don’t have to like someone to tip your cap to them.

If you don’t think Lebron is the best in the world, you’re wrong. I’m not saying someone can’t take that title from him this season, but as we sit here today on the brink of a new NBA season, James is The Man.

For those who will continue to hate, and there will be many, all I ask is that you do so with a little more respect this year, because no one has earned it more than Lebron James.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish