LeBron James is no stranger to NBA fans trashing him despite his dominance. A national poll revealed that James is in fact that most hated player.
A Twitter heat map recently revealed that LeBron easily tops the list of most hated players across the United States. Skip Bayless, a notorious Michael Jordan supporter and anti-LeBron fan, made sure to make a quick note of that.
A national poll finds that the most hated player in the NBA is … LeBron James. No surprise here. Can’t wait to discuss on tomorrow’s Undisputed. I’m told Shannon is out of his mind over this.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 9, 2021
The fact that there’s “No surprise here” is a little bit of a bold statement to make. Yes, LeBron was the villain of the league for many years, but ever since then fans have become more and more appreciative of his efforts. At least, that’s what the perception was.
LeBron James Ranks As NBA’s Most Hated Player Followed By Kyrie Irving, James Harden & Kevin Durant
The national poll that Skip was talking about refers to a Twitter heat map which showed which states hate which NBA player the most. Here’s the map:
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This map was generated by compiling over 70,000 Tweets across the country which featured fans trash-talking players, hating on them, or disliking them. The polls show that LeBron is the most hated across 24 states, Kyrie across 18, and Harden and Durant at three a piece.
LeBron’s hatred may stem from his Miami Heat days when he became the face of evil for the NBA. As you all know, he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to form perhaps the first instance of an NBA superteam and then went on to boisterously declare 7 or 8 Finals wins.
The Heat dominated the 2010-2014 period, and so fans took to seizing every opportunity to hate on LeBron. It looks like a lot of that hatred as carried over. After losing in the first round of the playoffs this year, LeBron has had to endure his fair share of criticism and trolling.
Constantly living in Michael Jordan’s shadow, fans will always try to compare the two, and sometimes that can make for unwarranted hatred to perhaps the greatest or second greatest NBA player of all time.