Ever since LeBron James put that first ring on his finger, the four-time league MVP has been anything but shy when it comes to voicing his personal opinions.
The King's latest rant came in the form of an attempt to defend teammate, Ray Allen, from scrutiny that had been placed on the veteran guard following his decision to leave the Boston Celtics last year. At the time, Allen's former running mates - Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett - as well as his former coach - Doc Rivers - didn't exactly rush to Allen's defense. Instead, Garnett told reporters that he had lost Allen's number, Pierce said he wasn't able to immediately forgive him, and Rivers subtly hinted at an "ego problem" Ray might have had.
One year later, after witnessing Sugar Ray's heroics in the NBA Finals, Pierce, KG, and Rivers found themselves on a path of their own out of Beantown. Eventually, a deal sent Doc to the Los Angeles Clippers while Pierce and KG were jettisoned to the Brooklyn Nets.
"I think the first thing I thought was, 'Wow, Ray got killed for leaving Boston, and now these guys are leaving Boston,'" James said. "I think it's OK; I didn't mind it. But there were a couple of guys who basically [expletive] on Ray for leaving, and now they're leaving."
"That's the nature of our business, man. I don't know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him, his family, and his career. Doc, KG, and Paul did that as well. You can't criticize someone who does something that's best for their family."
Pretty bold comments on LeBron's part.
It's understandable for James to come to his teammate's defense, but this is just as much a jab at the ex-Celtics as it is LeBron's good deed for the day. Like he said, he didn't have any idea what was going on within the Celtics organization when Allen was contemplating his next career move. Therefore, it doesn't make a ton of sense for LeBron to call out Pierce, KG, and Rivers because all he knows of the situation is what he either heard from the media or Allen himself.
James went on to mention that if there's anyone who can relate to what Allen went through last summer, it's him. After all, he did have to wrestle with the idea of spurning his hometown Cavaliers for a more talented squad. While that statement may be accurate, his situation in Cleveland was much different from Ray's in Boston.
But even with all that said, there's still one burning question at hand: Is LeBron right?
Ray Allen ditched the green and white in an effort to get a much better shot at winning a second NBA Championship and, in essence, that's exactly what Pierce, Garnett, and Rivers did as well. Could James be right in assuming that the ex-Celtics are wading in the waters of hypocrisy?
Again, it's hard to tell given the difference in situations. Pierce and Garnett were traded and so was Rivers. Ray Allen left. Can we confidently say that this minor discrepancy disproves LeBron's opinion?
Dwyane Wade doesn't think so:
"People say things about people when they do something when they themselves would do the same thing. It's about putting yourself in the best situation, and at the end of the day, we all do that. You can't really say anything about someone that does it for themselves."
In reality, it doesn't really matter what people say. The fact is, Allen is in Miami, Pierce and KG are in Brooklyn, and Rivers is in Los Angeles. Whether or not they failed to be loyal to a franchise that had given them so much over the last half-decade seems superfluous.
What we do know, however, is that apparently an issue of ESPN The Magazine dedicated solely to LeBron James wasn't enough to satisfy the King's need to be the center of attention.