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Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron on Dwight Howard: 'He ain't going through what I went through'

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 21, 2011

LeBron James on Wednesday scoffed off any comparisons between Dwight Howard's saga with the Orlando Magic and how James left the Cavaliers.

"No, he ain't going through what I went through, don't say that," James said Wednesday, according to the Orlando Sentinel, before the Magic hosted the Heat. "He's nowhere near going through what I went through."

Howard has asked the Magic to trade him, setting up another drama-filled season like last year when Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of Denver. But James believes none of that compares to what he endured when he left Cleveland for Miami.

"The only advice I can give is he's just got to be happy with any decision that comes out of this," James said. "He loves the game of basketball, and I wish him the best."

James, incidentally, was sharply criticized by legendary Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss Jr. for the way he behaved on a photo shoot for Miami about a month after The Decision.

Iooss writes: "LeBron became a villain to many after The Decision. I've seen a lot of entourages, but none like his. In July 2010 I got an assignment from Nike to shoot LeBron right after his TV special announcing his move to the Heat. We rented the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, where the Lakers and the Clippers used to play, and there were 53 people on my crew-including hair and makeup artists, production people, a stylist. I had $10,000 in Hollywood lighting. It was huge. When LeBron arrived, it was as if Nelson Mandela had come in. Six or seven blacked-out Escalades pulled up, a convoy. LeBron had bodyguards and his masseuse. His deejay was already there, blasting. This for a photo shoot that was going to last an hour, tops.

"This is how crazy it was: I wasn't even allowed to talk directly to LeBron. There was a liaison, someone from Amar'e Stoudemire's family. I would say to him, 'O.K., have LeBron drive right,' and then he'd turn to LeBron and say, 'LeBron, go right.'

"LeBron had guards in the portals on the mezzanine level, talking into their hands. Really, what was going to happen? And then at the end of the shoot they all got in the Escalades. My God, I've been around Michael Jordan, but with him nothing even came close to this. Unimaginable."

While lengthy, the entire Iooss memoir is fascinating and worthy of a read when you have the time.

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