LeBron James started to attract “hate” early in his career because of jealousy, according to his agent Rich Paul.
Paul says NBA veterans didn’t take kindly to a young LeBron enjoying things that they never had.
“When LeBron came in, a lot of guys were still in their prime, and all the attention turned to him in 2000,” Paul said on Club Shay Shay.
“Since all the attention, boom, $100 million contract. They never seen nothing like that. You know Jay-Z, sending the private jet.”
Paul isn’t the first to claim James’ peers were jealous of him early in his career.
LeBron’s first NBA coach, the late Paul Silas, once stated that some of James’ own teammates didn’t like him because they were jealous of him.
Silas had urged his players to embrace James, but it was to no avail, according to an article by Jackie MacMullan.
“Their egos wouldn’t allow it,” Silas said at the time. “I kept telling them, ‘You have a chance to help one of the game’s future stars,’ but they wouldn’t embrace him. If it bothered LeBron, he never let on.
“We won 35 games that year because of him. He’s had some outstanding seasons since then, but that first one may have been the most impressive because of how he excelled in spite of the jealousy on his own team.”