Lakers News: Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich Commends LeBron James For Dealing With Scrutiny
LeBron James, Gregg Popovich, Lakers
Eric Gay-AP Photo

The life of an NBA superstar comes with money, glamour and prestige but also an unimaginable amount of public scrutiny — all of which Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James has lived with for the majority of his life.

The spotlight has pointed at James ever since his high school basketball days. That’s when “Sports Illustrated” labeled him “the chosen one” in the now-four-time NBA champion’s first appearance on the magazine’s cover.

And since then, James has rather consciously attracted more attention rather than run away from it. From “The Decision” — the live TV production during which the forward announced joining the Miami Heat in front of millions of viewers back in 2010 — to the many eyebrow-rising comments that end up causing a stir, the 18-time All-Star has always seemed comfortable with the eyes set on him.

After arriving in L.A. for last week’s clash with the Lakers, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich saluted James for the way he’s handled scrutiny throughout his career. “It used to anger me when he first came in,” Popovich said ahead of San Antonio’s 123-92 loss.

“If he made a pass, somebody said, ‘He should’ve shot it.’ If he shot the ball, it was, ‘He should’ve passed it.’ It really would anger me. They would just deal with the negative. It was a fake negative, in a way. The guy was doing everything great and handling himself great. Young kid with all of that attention and doing what he was doing.

“I just thought he was wonderful. It would just annoy me. Whenever I would be around him or whenever I had the chance, I would say it publicly. ‘Why don’t you guys talk to him?’ and ‘He did this; he did that.’ That’s what I remember the most — the way he handled himself in the middle of all of that. All of us, we don’t know what is to have that kind of attention and those kinds of demands.

“For something like him, I can’t even fathom. It was super.”

James to return to court on Friday

Over the past couple of weeks, James has — for the most part — been out of the public eye, nursing the adductor injury that has sidelined him for five straight games.

However, reports claim the 37-year-old will return to action on Friday when the Lakers face the Spurs again — this time in San Antonio.

Head coach Darvin Ham has said L.A. will take a cautious approach while dealing with James’ injury and his comeback.

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