LeBron James 'stopped caring a long time ago' about critics
LeBron James has learned a thing or two about concentration after seven consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
When asked how his team would recover from a sluggish start to this year's championship series, a 113-91 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers star emphasised that one of the secrets to his success is ignoring critics and keeping his focus on the court.
"I really don't hear the noise. I couldn't really care less. It really doesn't matter to me," James was quoted as saying by ESPN.
"The narrative and people writing articles and things like that, I don't care. Those things doesn't bother me. So it's hard for me to even tell my teammates, hey, don't listen to it, because I don't even get involved in it.
"I stopped caring a long time ago, so it doesn't even bother me at all."
Although he registered 28 points and 15 rebounds, James struggled in Game 1, turning the ball over eight times, and Cleveland's defense failed to slow the Warriors.
While he admitted he used to let the haters get to him, James has learned to use the criticism and doubt as motivation to be better.
"I'm not in that department anymore. I left that in [my] 20s. I'm not in the 'prove people wrong, silence critics people' department no more. I got a promotion when I got to the 30s," James said.
"At the end of the day, I know what I've done and I know what I've built."
James' Cavaliers will face the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday in Oakland before returning to Cleveland for Game 3 on Wednesday.