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LeBron James: The Player the Boston Celtics Love to Hate

King James vs. The Celtics

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | It wasn't terribly long ago that the Boston Celtics seemed to regularly have the edge over LeBron James. As a young member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was never able to defeat Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen in a postseason series.

Pierce and James shared in one of the greatest playoff duels in recent history in 2008, when Game 7 of the conference semifinals came down to the two small forwards exchanging blows for 48 minutes. This was certainly a sweet moment for Celtics fans, Their core of veterans defeated the self-proclaimed "King" and proved they were not ready to pass the torch on to the youngster just yet.

Not long after, LeBron James was a member of the Miami Heat. Everything changed.

As the Celtics got older and their window was closing, it was LeBron slamming it shut.

King James and his newly formed Heat team knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs in 2011, and the Heat would eventually lose to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. LeBron was great, and he showed why he is the best player in the world. Celtics fans may not have hated him when they were beating him in Cleveland, but they certainly began to change their opinion. LeBron was no longer the talented kid who could never seem to get over the hump; he was the guy stepping on their throat.

In the 2012 playoffs, the Celtics made a surprising run despite having a hobbled Ray Allen. When they reached the conference finals and stretched it to 7 games, it was LeBron James who ended their season in a harsh manner.

At this point, it's clear that most Celtics players and fans love to hate LeBron James. Even newcomer Jason Terry has been vocal about his dislike for James.

And the fans hate him because he has consistently been the one to damper the hopes of one more championship run for their veteran core.

Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.

Follow him on Twitter here.

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