LeBron James. The man has rattled off so many quotes over the years that make Celtics fans seethe, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Whether the KingTM is talking about how “I don’t need to flop. I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’m not one of those guys” in 2013, and then admitting two weeks later that flopping comes down to “Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team, so be it” (and then getting fined for flopping), saying that going .500 in Finals appearances was A-OK in his book, or claiming to not care about his legacy while doing everything short of declaring “Last name, Ever. First name, Greatest” to the press, it’s safe to say Boston isn’t lacking for ammo to hate on LeBron, in addition to, you know, that whole thing where he’s the best basketball player in the world and has been since Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and Finding Nemo were in theaters.
But set aside your Hate-o-rade for a few minutes, cause King James paid perhaps the highest compliment possible to the Boston Celtics fanbase after Cleveland took Game 3 on Thursday night.
From CSNNE‘s Jimmy Toscano, here’s what LeBron had to say about playing at TD Garden:
“The uniforms are the same, some of the players are different – mostly all the players are different besides Brandon Bass being on some of those teams,” James said. “But it’s the same for me. I get great feelings, I get eery feelings when I come in this building. I’ve been on both sides of the fences.”
I’m not really sure what he means, exactly, by “I’ve been on both sides of the fences”, but, moving on…
“The great thing about being here, these fans are loyal to one thing and one thing only – that’s green. That’s all they see, that’s all they care about. For me being a competitor, for me being someone that they know personally to be able to come out here and perform in front of those guys, it means a lot. Because they know the game, they know basketball, they know sports. It’s a sports town between them and the Patriots and the Bruins and the Red Sox. They know sports. So for me to be able to have some type of history in this city, it means a lot for – I guess for my legacy.”
Dammit, LeBron, you finally said something that makes us respect you, which in turn makes us hate you even more. Which, I’m guessing, is just the way James likes it. Respect.