A-Rod has had his fair share of punch lines, disparaging nicknames, and New York tabloid headlines directed at him since joining a team full of established stars in search of a world title. He had a stretch where he was absolutely killed for his smallness in big moments. And he maintained a certain level of aloofness throughout his tumultuous early Yankee life that caused the hate to multiply.
Yes, there have been other athletes who have been criticized for under-delivering. But the only thing that comes close to the unprecedented level of scrutiny and pressure currently facing LeBron James is the stretch, from 2004 up until his spectacular run in the 2009 playoffs, when Alex Rodriguez was the most disliked athlete in the biggest media market on the planet.
Fittingly, A-Rod has a message for everyone who is jumping on the LeBron James Hatewagon: