LeBron in the 'same boat' as Tim Tebow

LeBron in the 'same boat' as Tim Tebow

Published Jan. 13, 2012 5:16 p.m. ET

DENVER — Could LeBron James get out of Denver without talking about Tim Tebow?

Not a chance.

James, the Miami Heat star forward in town for Friday night's game against the Nuggets, was asked about Tebow both after a Thursday workout and following a shootaround Friday. He sees some similarities between himself and the Denver Broncos quarterback, who has had success despite often hearing criticism.

"Honestly, I've been paying attention to Tebow all year even while I was watching the Cowboys," James said Friday, referring to his favorite NFL team. "So I love to see what a guy can do when his back is up against the wall, when everybody counts him out."

James says he's in the "same boat" as Tebow, whose Broncos play at New England Saturday in an AFC divisional playoff. He's not necessarily talking about talent, but about scrutiny.

"I can relate to him a lot," said James, who like Tebow, is one of the most talked-about athletes anywhere. "I see how the media plays it sometimes and how the critics go at him and to see him continue to prove them wrong. If it's a good game or a bad game on his part, he continues to stay positive and move forward. And that's a great sign. It's a great leader. You respect that no matter if you're in that same sport or not."

James has met Tebow since they share endorsements, saying, "Us Nike guys stick together."

"He's one of the most intriguing, competitive athletes that we have today," James, who said he has been following Tebow since he was at Florida, told reporters Thursday. "He's all about winning, and he praises everybody but himself. He's a very humble guy, and I respect that.

"I'm one of those guys who has been in those shoes before, as well. . . I understood a lot of what he's going through, what he went through, and it's good to see him success(ful) now. You want to see greatness, you always want to see guys succeed — especially when people count you out from Day 1. That's what I love about him. I always tweet about him."

James has had extra time to tweet about Tebow since his Cowboys didn't make the playoffs.