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LeBron James: "It does suck that people want to throw my name in the dirt"

Today while speaking to the media, LeBron James had a lot to say about how he's perceived.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Today prior to the Cleveland Cavaliers' game against the Phoenix Suns, LeBron James spoke to media in attendance and strongly responded to criticism that he's coach killer.

"I've never, in my time since I picked up a basketball, ever undermined a coach, ever disrespected a coach,"James said per

In the past few days, James has taken some heat for his presumed role in David Blatt's firing. It started when Gregg Popovich jokingly said "I'm glad my general manager wasn't in the locker room because it might have gotten me fired" after the Spurs lost to the Warriors on Monday.Then, Heat minority owner Raanan Katz said on Israeli radio that James tried to get Erik Spoelstra fired during James' early years in Miami. Katz, for what it's worth, has since backed off his remarks and used to be a shareholder in Maccabi Tel Aviv.

James, for his part, said he never met Katz during his four years with the Heat.

"I have no idea who that is," James said per the Akron Beacon Journal. "I don't even know if a lot of guys that actually played ever met him. I was there for four years and I never met him. ... I don't think he was involved in any of the conversations that goes on with the personnel of the team or the coaching staff or anything. But it's easy to say that at this point."

James, of course, does have a rocky history with coaches. He never seemingly got along with Blatt and the Cavs fired Mike Brown in 2010 partly because the Cavs thought it was what LeBron wanted. There were also rumblings about his relationship with Spoelstra in Miami.

"There's no difference for me telling my teammates or telling guys how to get better with their game," James said per the ABJ. "If I feel I got something that will help our team, ultimately, I like to give it. It helped me get two titles."

"People get it so misconstrued because I'm a smart basketball player and I've voiced my opinion about certain things," James also said per the ABJ. "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."