LeBron James insists he had nothing to do with the Cleveland Cavaliers' firing of David Blatt last week and says he is sick and tired of those who assumed he played a role.
Cavs general manager David Griffin stressed last Friday that James does not run the organisation and said the star forward had no input over the decision to part company with Blatt.
And James has now hit back at those who claim otherwise.
"I think it does suck that people want to throw my name in dirt for no particular reason, because of speculation or whatever the case may be," James told reporters.
"I've never in my time since picking up a basketball ever disrespected or undermined a coach. I'm not the owner of a team. I'm not the GM of a team. I'm a player on a team."
However, James made it clear he intends to speak up when he feels the need.
"People get it so misconstrued because I'm a smart basketball player and I like to voice my opinion about certain things," James said. "What do you guys want me to do? Turn my brain off because I have a huge basketball IQ? If that's what they want me to do, I'm not going to do it because I've got so much to give to the game. ...
"It's no different than me telling my team-mates how to get better with their game. If I feel I got something that will help our team, ultimately, I like to give it. It helped me get two titles."
The Cavaliers were top of the Eastern Conference at 30-11 at the time of Blatt's firing. Since Tyronn Lue took over the team, the Cavs have lost to the Chicago Bulls and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves.
And despite the distractions swirling around the team with a new coach and Kevin Love reportedly on the trading block, James is still all about winning a title.
He added: "I got 14 guys here. I got a fanbase here and a fanbase all over the world that loves what I do and they respect what I do and I can't worry about a select group of people that want to use their negative energy to take away my positive energy. I can't allow that to happen."