The April issue cover, created by photographer Annie Leibovitz, has upset some fans who complain that James' pose with supermodel Gisele Bundchen reinforces racial stereotypes by depicting the basketball star with a grimacing expression, WEWS-TV, Cleveland, reported Thursday.
WEWS said some have said the pose is reminiscent of King Kong.
"I didn't want to bring up that point, but since you showed me that point, I totally agree with people that are upset about that particular picture," said one Cavaliers fan.
James is the first black man to appear on the cover of the magazine, which has typically featured women on its cover in its 115 years of publication.
Boston schools pull out free condoms over wrapping complaints
Ray Liotta sues skin care company over use of likeness