Knicks Star Once Humbled LeBron James After Public Dispute: “I’d rather own than be owned”

Published 12/28/2021, 8:00 AM EST
DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 12: LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers licks his chops as the Lakers cruise to the finish line against the Denver Nuggets during overtime quarter of Los Angeles’ 120-116 win on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


LeBron James has been in the NBA for a long time now and has won four championships with three different teams. However, in his first stint with the Cavaliers, James failed to win any championships. But he came back to win a championship with his former team. James’ stint with the Cavaliers was a roller coaster ride.

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King James had his moments as a player and excelled on an individual level. But he couldn’t deliver a championship in his first stint with the Cavs. But he was among the best players in the NBA at that time and was also an elite trash-talker.

Apr 22, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (23) yells during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports| Credit: Reuters

He has several trash-talking incidents from his Cavs days. However, nothing beats his ‘shoe war’ with Stephon Marbury. James is a Nike athlete, and he has endorsed the same brand for a long time. But Stephon Marbury once humbled him after a public feud related to shoes.

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LeBron James and Stephon Marbury’s 2007 shoe war

Ahead of the game vs. the Knicks in 2007, James commented on Marbury’s discounted shoe line for kids.

“Growing up in the inner city, at times families can’t afford $120 shoes. It’s definitely smart on their part,” James said.

“Me being with Nike; we hold our standards high. And we do a great job of putting out great merchandise, great shoes. It does come with a price that is pretty high, but at the same time, you’re getting great quality for it.”

Marbury, who was with the Knicks at that time, clearly didn’t like the statement. The Knicks ended up winning the game 97-93. Marbury then took a dig at LeBron and humbled him.

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“I laughed. I’d rather own than be owned,” Marbury said after the remarks.

“When he retires, he’s not going to own anything. I don’t think he did his homework. We’re putting out the same stuff he’s putting out, just at an affordable price. But I understand that he’s got to say that because it’s part of the business.”

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However, the Cavaliers finished the 2006-07 season as 2nd in the eastern conference. The Cavs, led by a 22-year-old James, went on to reach the Finals. However, San Antonio Spurs won the Finals 4-0. The Cavs won’t make it to the Finals until LeBron James returned to the city from Miami.

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Abhishek Singh

442 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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