LeBron James talked extensively about his controversial 2010 television special, "The Decision," when he announced his intention to join the Miami Heat and form a super-team with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
"I can understand why a lot of people were upset," he said about the reaction to The Decision. "That definitely wasn't my intention: to upset people."
Even so, James does not exactly wish he could undo The Decision. "I can't say I would change anything," he said. "But, yeah, there is definitely a better way I could have handled it, as far as the whole TV thing is concerned, and the same goes for the build-up to the announcement. A lot of people were hurt by it – and I definitely apologise to them. At the same time, you should never be afraid to do what you believe in."
He used the interview to remind everyone that besides attempting to burnish his own personal glory, The Decision rose a significant sum of money for charity. "My thinking was built around those kids who would benefit from me making this decision, all these underprivileged kids that would get the millions and millions of dollars that I would receive [from ESPN for the television rights for The Decision]. That was my whole motivation."
But he has no illusions about his perception among non-Heat fans. "As a professional athlete a lot is going to be said about you – but I just try to move forward and achieve my goals."
James also opened up about the Heat's tough loss in the NBA Finals. The loss "was definitely heartbreaking," he said. James thinks he learned something about himself in the Finals, saying, "It's made me critique my game and work out who I am as a person."
Saying ""I miss playing right now," James expressed optimism that the NBA could settle the ongoing lockout and salvage the 2011-2012 season. However, those comments were made before the most recent breakdown in negotiations between players and owners and the resulting decertification of the players' union.
"I've always been optimistic that there will be a season this year," James said. "Both sides know how important the game of basketball is. We know that the fans make the game. Without the fans there is no us."