LeBron James is a popular guy these days. His jersey is number one in sales. Winning cures all kinds of ill will around the league and he's now a 2 time champion. He's also the guy that went home again to Cleveland, thus making amends with one of the prime anti-LeBron populations. So everyone pretty much loves LeBron James again, right?
Well, not so much in Boston. We like our grudges and James isn't going to feel any love from us any time soon.
I don't really know what it is about the guy, but he's just so easy for a Boston fan to dislike. Sure, he's grown up in a lot of ways and made better decisions and won a lot of games. In theory we should have moved on by now. Nothing about this next series has anything to do with the prior meetings.
Still, those old feelings don't just go away. There was a legit rivalry between LeBron James and the Celtics.
James has played 25 games against the Celtics in the postseason. He has won 13 (and two series) and lost 12 (and two series). He’s averaged 28.1 points and 8.8 rebounds. One of the lowest moments of his career came in Boston, in Game 6 of the 2010 second round. Coming off a 3-for-14 performance in Game 5, James shot 8-for-21, and though he had 29 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists, he also had nine turnovers and bizarrely seemed to give up on the game down the stretch. There were hints that something was just not right with that team. After that game, James said, "A friend told me after the game that sometimes you go through a lot of nightmares before you finally accomplish your dream. That's what going on individually for myself right now." He left for Miami two months later.
I had this amusing exchange with Matt Moore the other day.
Let’s go back to the last playoff game LeBron James played in Boston. You know, when he burned the building down. https://t.co/NiuJPFfje0— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 13, 2015
The point here is this. None of this should matter. The only players left on the Celtics that remember those games are Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass. The Celtics are in a completely different era and LeBron is as well.
But Celtics fans don't forget. And I think deep down I'm pretty sure LeBron James doesn't forget either. He wants to beat the Celtics, regardless of who's suiting up for us.
To which my only reply can be...
Bring it. pic.twitter.com/QQntA3HOOK— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) April 15, 2015