By about 2009, anti-LeBron James opinions had formed their own cottage industry. Sure LeBron was talented, doubters would say, but he never came through in the clutch, his teams didn’t win, he passed when he should’ve shot, he wasn’t as good as Kobe, he whined too much, etc.

And as LeBron’s career progressed and his teams kept losing in the playoffs, a particularly fiery take began to crop up: LeBron James, the best player of his generation, would never win an NBA championship.

Now that LeBron has three titles, it seems ridiculous that anyone could have ever doubted him, but loads of people did. And we’ve got the tweets to prove it.

There were a few instances of LeBron-will-never-win takes after his Cavaliers teams lost to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2010 (chief LeBron hater Skip Bayless stopped just short of that on ESPN that spring), but by the next year, after LeBron had signed with the Heat and lost to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals, doubters were out in full force.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Darren Rovell felt that LeBron’s marketing potential had been tarnished forever.

In the 2012 playoffs, when the Heat fell behind the Celtics 3-2 in the conference finals it looked like deja vu. The anti-LeBron crowd couldn’t even wait one more game to bring out the pitchforks.

At this point, the NBA had a new prince, the Thunder’s Kevin Durant, and the comparisons with LeBron were inevitable… and not favorable toward The King.

LeBron and the Heat won Game 6 over the Celtics thanks to one of the best performances of LeBron’s career—a 45-point, 15-rebound masterpiece—then won the series in Game 7.

Thanks to several more virtuoso LeBron performances, the Heat beat Durant’s Thunder in the NBA Finals to earn The King his first ring. LeBron won another title with Miami the following year, then returned to Cleveland to deliver the Cavs a title in 2016. Kevin Durant is still waiting.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.