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Mad In Miami: Dan Le Batard Says LeBron James Misled the Heat

Over the weekend sports writer Dan Le Batard, who also hosts his own show Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable on ESPN2, wrote an opinion piece for the Miami Herald that was mostly complimentary of the four years LeBron James gave the Miami Heat before announcing last Friday he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the piece Le Batard applauds the public relations genius of The Decision II, while calling it out as such. Recognizing that sports—in this case, basketball—is more than just a game to many of us, he notes that bitterness is natural, but urges Heat fans to remember LeBron for the four great years he gave them, rather than the way he left.

On Monday Le Batard still had James on the brain when he appeared on the Dan Patrick Show. Though he echoed some of the PR sentiments from his Herald piece, he took a decidedly different tone by accusing LeBron and his reps of deliberately misleading the Heat.

[Click here to see the Le Batard’s entire segment]

Le Batard: This was a masterstroke as a PR move … I would say it’s more of a PR move than a basketball move. Although you can make the argument for Cleveland’s young roster, he’s going to be headed into the playoffs, in all likelihood, with a lot of guys who’ve never played a playoff game before. But it was perfect PR move…

Patrick: When do you think he made up his mind?

Le Batard: Oh, it was before the end. I don’t think he does what he did — I don’t think he does that again to Cleveland, you know what I mean? — allows 10 days of hope, where he crushes Cleveland again. I think he knew before this. The Miami Heat have taken the high road on this, but it’s why they were behaving like a team that was going to get him — because they were misled by his guys.

Patrick: What do you mean?

Le Batard: The Miami Heat were behaving like a team that was gonna get him back. They were doing everything, like they were gonna get him back. That’s because the agent for LeBron James [Rich Paul] made them feel like they were gonna get him back. You can’t have two teams behaving like they were gonna get him back.

At times Le Batard seems completely at odds with himself. It’s clear that he wants to be the guy who can appreciate LeBron for what he did in Miami, but is having a very hard time resolving ill feeling over the situation.

He believes LeBron’s mind was made up about leaving before the NBA Finals, but conceded to Patrick that he has not yet spoken to the man himself. Although Le Batard says he’s not sure what to believe at this point, it seems like his mind is already made up.

Perhaps he should heed his own advice—just say thanks and move on.

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