LeBron says disgruntled fans “have to get over it.”

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James reacts during a break in play against the Detroit Pistons in their NBA preseason basketball game in Miami, Florida October 5, 2010. REUTERS/Hans Deryk                    (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

LeBron James claims he wasn’t telling his (former) fans in Cleveland to “get over it,” but it sure sounds like he did:

“If I was a fan and I was on the outside looking in, I could be upset a little bit if one of my favorite players left,” James said. “Or if I felt like he betrayed us or whatever the case may be. But you have to get over it.

“Sports are very emotional and fans are very emotional,” James said. “At times they really believe you may be related to them you and you sleep in their house. When you do something wrong and you leave their house they can become very emotional. I’ve understood that over the years. But at the same time, you have to understand you have to do what is best yourself.”

I’m not sure what the whole “you sleep in their house” bit is about — it sounds like one of those philosophical LeBron thoughts that went awry — but no one in Cleveland is going to be comforted by the rest of these remarks, no matter how nicely ESPN (headline reads: “LeBron sympathetic to fans”) wants to put them.

LeBron later tweeted:

Let’s clear this up! I never said to the Cavs fans to “get over it”. I’ve never and will never say anything bad about them. 7 years of joy!

I’ll give him this — he didn’t say “those fans should get over it,” but he did imply that fans in general have to “get over it” when an athlete does something to anger them. In a time where no one is going to be parsing words in his defense, this is not going to go over well in Cleveland. Especially considering that the front-running LeBron (who grew up as a fan of Jordan’s Bulls, the Cowboys and the Yankees) simply can’t relate to Cavs fans who feel that their local hero stabbed them in the back.

And there’s still no acknowledgment that “The Decision” was a colossal mistake, image-wise. He and his camp are still clinging to the idea that raising some money for charity offsets whatever pain he put Cavs fans through on his monumental ego trip/public break up.

This is going to be an interesting season, for sure.

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