Yankees star Alex Rodriguez is more than familiar with constant media scrutiny, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he came to the defense of NBA pariah LeBron James Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
"Winning a championship is not an easy thing to do regardless of talent," Rodriguez said. "LeBron is a once-in-a-lifetime player, especially the last year."
LeBron has received the bulk of the criticism in the aftermath of Miami's 4-2 series loss to Dallas in the NBA Finals. Despite averaging 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists in six games against the Mavs, James' struggles in crunch time — most notably in the fourth quarter — was a constant headline during the Heat's championship collapse.
Like LeBron, Rodriguez understands what it's like to have high expectations placed on him at a very young age. A-Rod made his major league debut with the Seattle Mariners as an 18-year old in 1994, but it took him until he was 34 to finally got his first ring with the Yankees.
He insists, therefore, that people need to show patience before being overly critical of LeBron.
"We need to remember this kid is 26 years old, and celebrate his talent," Rodriguez said, according to the Post. "Let's not take the Mavericks as an afterthought. They did everything they had to do to raise a championship."