LeBron: 'Don't care' about complainer talk
Miami Heat forward LeBron James said on Friday that criticism of his comments about the hard intentional fouls he encountered on Wednesday night didn't faze him.
"I actually didn't know anything about people's responses," James said. "I don't care what other people's responses are."
James was on the receiving end of two especially hard fouls in the Heat's Wednesday night loss to the Chicago Bulls, which snapped their 27-game winning streak.
After the game, James took issue with the fouls.
"Those are not defensive ... those are not basketball plays," he said.
Since Wednesday, both Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Bulls big man Taj Gibson -- who administered one of the fouls James termed hard -- called out the Heat star, characterizing him as a complainer. James rebuffed those assessments Friday.
"I'm not surprised to hear anything from Boston," James said of Ainge's remarks. "I stated what I felt and left it at that. I haven't even went on about it at all. I know everything that I say is going to be either blown out of proportion or taken the wrong way. But I had to say what I had to say and I move on."
Asked whether officials needed to be more vigilant about deterring hard fouls, James didn't express an interest.
"It's not my concern," James said. "I'm just voicing my opinion on what I've seen."
James pointed to Shaquille O'Neal as a precedent for the physical strategies devised to neutralize his effectiveness and the potential consequences when players retaliate in kind.
"As a kid, I used to watch a lot of the Laker games," James said. "And I used to see Shaq get hammered. He would get two free throws. And then he'd finally deliver a blow and it would be a technical foul or a flagrant foul. I've seen it before. We're not ones to complain."
James declined to take a position on whether intentional fouls had a place in the game.
"I'm not one to really judge that," James said. "The rules are the rules, so I'm not one to say whether it should be part of the game or not."
The Heat visit New Orleans on Friday night.
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