Johnny Manziel Reflects on How His Depression Affected Relationship With LeBron James

Bron distanced himself from Manziel following his 2016 domestic violence incident.

Johnny Manziel smiling in a suit and LeBron James in basketball uniform on the court
(Photo by Steve Granitz / FilmMagic), (Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Johnny Manziel smiling in a suit and LeBron James in basketball uniform on the court

Johnny Manziel has revealed how his depression messed up his relationship with LeBron James when they two were playing in Cleveland at the same time. 

During his appearance on Club Shay Shay, the former quarterback opened up about his tumultuous time in the 216 and how his mental health played a factor in his issues. According to Manziel, Bron tried his best to be there for Manziel by reaching out and inviting him over to his home during his second tenure with the Cavaliers, but his depression kept him from getting out of bed.

"I remember, this is how bad off I was whenever I was in Cleveland, LeBron would text me every week to come over to the house and watch a game or play poker with the boys and just tried to be there," Manziel said at around the 1:50:00 mark. "I was so depressed for the first time in my life that even my biggest role model and inspiration in my life couldn't get me out of bed to come and hang out with him."

He added, "When I went to the Cavs games, I went. I was in, I was out. I didn't really grasp and latch on to him in a way that I should have. And he tries to take me under his wing, and I'm just kind of nudging it away because of where my mental is and being just fully depressed, and where I was in my life. Is that an excuse? Absolutely not, because at the end of the day, the respect that I should have for them, giving me everything, should trump all else."

@RealSkipBayless, I love you bro. I honestly feel like I let him down. … This ‘Johnny Manziel will be bigger than LeBron.’ It was never ever going to be a reality.” - @JManziel2

Full episode is streaming now wherever you listen to your podcasts and on YouTube.

— Club Shay Shay (@ClubShayShay) February 21, 2024
Twitter: @ClubShayShay

"I was so depressed that even the biggest role model in my life couldn't get me out of bed to hang out with him."

Johnny Manziel opens up about how he was too depressed to hangout with LeBron while he was in Cleveland.

(via: @ClubShayShay)

— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 21, 2024
Twitter: @ComplexSports

Manziel went on to say how ashamed he was for letting down so many people during his time in Cleveland and admitted his behavior still eats him up inside to this day.

"It's embarrassing to have been the guy that have let down some overall really great athletes in my time and in my generation," he said. "It's something I carry hopefully with my head high right now but at the same time, internally, I know it eats me alive because they did more for me than I had gave in return to them."

Manziel continued, "And what a shallow kind of selfish way of life that I was living at that point in time and I have a lot regret, like, I regret wasting a couple of Joe Thomas' last years in Cleveland. I regret disrespecting LeBron and not making sure what it meant to me. Showing him that I give a fuck enough to just do what's right. To listen to Mav and listen to the team they built around me."

The Texas native was drafted at No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2014 but only played in 14 games across two seasons for the team due to problems he was dealing with outside the league, such as domestic violenceadmitting he was suicidal, and more.

You can watch the full episode below.

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