(CNN) -- Basketball star LeBron James suggested in an interview that aired Wednesday on CNN that race may have played a role in some of the negative reaction to his announcement that he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat.
James had been criticized for announcing he would leave the Cavaliers for Miami last July in an hourlong ESPN special called "The Decision," with some accusing him of letting his ego get away from him.
Asked if race was a factor in the fallout, James told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Monday, "I think so, at times. There's always -- you know, a race factor."
James' closest advisor also said that race played a role in the negative reaction.
"It definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media and things that were written, for sure," James' adviser Maverick Carter told O'Brien in an interview on Friday.