San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has nothing but respect and admiration for Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who has thrived over the years despite the intense scrutiny he has faced.

Before the Spurs played the Lakers on Sunday, Popovich didn't let LeBron's injury absence stop him from honoring the NBA veteran. He shared how he used to be mad whenever he hear people talk about what James didn't do in a game instead of discussing what he did great.

Coach Pop also revealed what impressed him the most about LeBron despite all those criticisms, noting that the Lakers forward has always approached things with the right attitude. James never let the critics affect him, as he built an all-time great career highlighted by four championships, four Finals MVPs and four regular season MVPs.

“It used to anger me when he first came in. If he made a pass, somebody said, ‘He should've shot it.' If he shot the ball, it was, ‘He should've passed it.' It really would anger me. They would just deal with the negative. It was a fake negative, in a way,” Pop said, per Mark Medina of

“The guy was doing everything great and handling himself great. Young kid with all of that attention and doing what he was doing. I just thought he was wonderful. It would just annoy me. Whenever I would be around him or whenever I had the chance, I would say it publicly. ‘Why don't you guys talk to him' and ‘He did this; he did that.' That's what I remember the most–the way he handled himself in the middle of all of that. All of us, we don't know what is to have that kind of attention and those kinds of demands. For something like him, I can't even fathom. It was super.”

True enough, LeBron James has to be the most criticized athlete in the history of the NBA, and that's despite the fact that he has dominated the league for years and has done everything he can to help every team he joins win the championship.

Not to mention that there were already massive expectations on him when he entered the league in 2003. But not only did he live up to his title as the “Chosen One,” but he has definitely exceeded expectations.

As Gregg Popovich said, it's only right to show appreciation to James' greatness.