Ever since LeBron James decided to join forces with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade things have changed for the 25-year old. He was once everybody’s favorite player but after his one-hour special, dubbed “The Decision” aired, he became the nation’s most-hated player and the Heat became the nation’s most-hated team. His home state of Ohio even despises him because they felt that he “turned” his back on them. LeBron’s decision not only affected the cities of Cleveland and Miami, it affected every other team in the NBA because teams had to brace for what could potentially happen if they had to face him four times during the regular season. The teams that were affected most are those within the Southeast division: Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, and Orlando, but I would argue that the Magic are most affected because they are the Heat’s biggest rival and separated by only 235 miles. That rivalry will be front and center tomorrow night when the Heat return to Miami for their home opener in what is sure to raise the level of tension between the clubs even higher.
Rashard Lewis joined 790 the Ticket in Miami to talk about what he thinks the Heat’s first home game vs. the Magic is going to be like, whether he understands why the Miami Heat is the most-hated team in America, and whether he has seen Nike’s new LeBron commercial and what he thinks about it.
Whether he thinks of LeBron James going from hero to villain after his 1-hour special:
“Well I mean that’s most definitely crazy for one of the best basketball players in the NBA to go from hero to villain especially after winning 2 MVP’s in a row for lifting the city of Cleveland to that stature that he did. Two years in a row as the best team in the league and that was very tough with the type of team that he had around him. I know that it is mind boggling for him, but at the same time I think it should be motivation. I know I use it as my motivation and I think he should do the same.”
Whether he had any problem with the way that LeBron went about deciding he was going to sign with Miami:
“No, I didn’t have a problem at all. I was tuned into the TV just like everybody else was because he was a guy that I was facing every year. He didn’t go to the West so now I have got to look forward to facing him again because he is just right down the street in our division. Everybody was tuned in to see what his decision was going to be.”
What he thinks the Heat’s first home game vs. the Magic is going to be like:
“Oh man it is going to be a zoo. Like you said, it is going to be crazy. I am sure the Heat fans are going to be into it. Like you said, it is their home opener, their atmosphere is going to be unbelievable with their big three playing their first home game of the regular season and obviously the Orlando Magic, that is right down the street coming into the building, with Dwight Howard “Superman” on our team, it is most definitely going to be a very, very intense game.”
Which team he would rather face in the Eastern Conference Finals, Boston or Miami:
“Oh man that is a tough question. Honestly I don’t know…”
Whether he understands why the Miami Heat is the most-hated team in America:
“It is kind of hard to understand when you are the most-hated team in the world especially when you have the type of talent that they have on their team. I would think you would be married to the team or a lot of fans are most definitely going to tune in, but it is most definitely mind boggling to hear that they are the most-hated team maybe because the one guy made that decision to go there. I think that is terrible. If anything, if you are not a Miami Heat fan then hate them, but if you are a fan of the Miami Heat you have got to support him.”
Whether he has seen Nike’s new LeBron commercial and what he thinks about it:
“I did see it… Nike puts out good commercials. I thought it was most definitely a nice commercial. Obviously it talks about his decision and the decision that he made, his future, about the Hall of Fame and a lot of what the media is talking about today, so it was kind of good to make a commercial about it and kind of make it a little more of a joke and make it a little funny.”
What he thought about Dwyane Wade’s commercial:
“Dwyane Wade’s commercial was cool too. It was more of a super hero-type of commercial, jumping on a motorcycle popping wheelies and going through the glass. It was cool and it was entertaining for the kids.”