Yankees

Alex Rodriguez: Fans Should ‘Celebrate,’ Not Criticize, LeBron James

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Alex Rodriguez (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images), LeBron James (credit: Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images), LeBron James (credit: Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – LeBron James’ fourth-quarter struggles in the NBA finals are still a talking point, even with the series now over and Dallas celebrating its crown.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez knows a little something about under performing in the postseason. A-Rod told the New York Post on Tuesday that fans should cool off on King James.

“Winning a championship is not an easy thing to do regardless of talent,” Rodriguez told the paper. “We need to remember this kid is 26 years old, and celebrate his talent.”

There were some reports Tuesday that James had skipped Miami’s team meetings for a vacation in the Bahamas. Privately, some team members told him at times during the season to stop paying attention to news reports about the team entirely.

“LeBron is a once in a lifetime player,” said A-Rod, “especially the last year.”

At the end, James found his some of his words overly dissected and, he said, misinterpreted.

James’ offseason began with a clarification of something said after Sunday’s night’s season-ending loss to the new champion Dallas Mavericks, when part of his answer to a question about people being happy to see the Heat lose included the phrase “they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems.”

On Tuesday, James tried to clean up the mess he inadvertently created.

“Basically, I was saying, at the end of the day, this season is over and with all the hatred not only myself, everyone else has to move on with their lives as well,” James said. “They have to move on with their lives and their day-to-day, good or bad, and I do, too. At the end of the day, I’ve got to move on with my life. So it wasn’t saying that I’m superior or better than anyone else, any man or woman on this planet. I’m not.”

James offered some respect to the new champs later Tuesday. He posted a message on LeBronJames.com where he congratulated the Mavericks, especially Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. He also lauded the Miami fans, teammates, coaches, team president Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison.

James closed the message with this: “A lot to learn from this year, a lot to build on, and a lot of work to do this summer.”

Do you agree with A-Rod? Fire away in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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