MIAMI -- LeBron James started his own Twitter account in July because he wanted to be more in touch with fans and, as it has turned out, his non-fans.
To illustrate that sometimes unpleasant interaction, James took the unusual step of retweeting some hateful Twitter messages to his 900,000 followers on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, the Miami Heat star said he did it to show people what he deals with on a daily basis.
James published three negative tweets on his feed including one that was racially charged.
"I just want you guys to see it also," James said after the Heat's practice Wednesday afternoon. "To see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes. Everybody thinks it is a bed of roses and it's not."
In one message a person wrote that James is "a big nosed big lipped bug eyed (racial slur). Ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness."
Last month in an interview with CNN, James said that he felt some of the backlash aimed at him after his decision to sign with the Heat was racially based.
In another message James made public he was called a "fraud" and a "bitch" and in another tweet the writer wrote "why don't u speak by laying ur head under a moving car."
James often retweets messages from friends and fans but they are usually positive ones. But he said he reads the negative messages for motivational purposes.
"You're always going to have people who love you and who hate you," James said. "I have enough motivation but I can always use a little more."
Brian Windhorst is an ESPN.com NBA writer.