LEBRON James fired back at critics after being tagged a “coach-killer” after the firing of David Blatt five days ago.
"I think it does suck that people want to throw my name in the dirt,” James was quoted as saying by ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin.
In an interview with beat reports on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time), James
“It sucks. But what can I do about it? I've never, in my time since I picked up a basketball, ever undermined a coach, ever disrespected a coach. You ask any of my little league coaches, my high school coaches, coaches I've played for in tournaments, camps, my NBA coaches. I've always respected what they wanted to do. And I'm not the owner of a team, I'm not the GM of a team. I'm the player of a team,” James said.
Blatt was fired despite leading the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals last season and the top of the Eastern Conference this season.
“People get it so misconstrued because I'm a smart basketball player and I've voiced my opinion about certain things, which I did when I was here my first stint with Paul Silas and Mike Brown. Which I did in Miami with Coach Spo (Spoelstra). Which I did with Blatt and I'll do with T-Lue. And at the end of the day, they'll still have their final call,” James said.
"What do you guys want me to do, turn my brain off because I have a huge basketball IQ? If that's what they want me to do, I'm not going to do it because I've got so much to give to the game,” said James.
A report also quoted Miami Heat minority owner Raanan Katz that James attempted to get Spoelstra fired. James said that Katz wasn’t involved in team decisions.
“I've never met that guy. I don't even know if a lot of guys that actually played ever met him. I was there for four years, and I never met him. I think my relationship with Spo had nothing to do with that. At the end of day, I don't even think ... the fact that I never met him, I don't think he was involved in any of the conversations that goes on with the personnel of the team or the coaching staff or anything. But it's easy to say that at this point. Did he have some type of ... what's his objective? What's his role with the team?” James said.
James said he is unaffected by the criticisms.
“But you can't worry about it too much. I got 14 guys here. I got a fan base here and a fan base all over the world that loves what I do, and they respect what I do, and I can't worry about a select group of people that wants to use their negative energy to take away my positive energy. I can't allow that to happen,” James said.