Pressed on his soap opera remark, Lue said, âWhy do I think it is? Itâs just who we are. We love the drama.â
Brian Windhorst: "People who were involved in the game couldn't believe what LeBron James said to Ty Lue when Ty tried to calm him down and then couldn't believe what Tristan said back to him. This guy has played played against LeBron a lot and he was like, 'Wow, I've never seen anything like that with a LeBron teammate.'"
Asked after the victory over the Magic how he felt about the Cavs compared to a week ago, coach Tyronn Lue said, âI feel good about this team all the time. Itâs like a soap opera, but I love this team. We know what weâre capable of doing. Even though we lost the Chicago game, for three quarters defensively we were great. Jimmy Butler and (Rajon) Rondo had a good game, but (Nikola) Mirotic hurt us more than anything. Weâve got to take him out of the game when we play them again. Defensively the effort is there, the multiple effort. Weâre getting stops. I always feel good about this team. It could be this week, next week. You know how we are.â
When James was asked about the tension after the Pacersâ game, he said, âWeâre a brotherhood who only wants to get better and do whatâs right for the team. So someone had something to say and itâs for the better of the team and thatâs healthy and we need that.â 14. Three victories help the situation, Irving said, but he doesnât want triumphs over the 76ers, Pacers and Magic to cover up the Cavsâ mistakes.
James blamed the poor execution on a lack of practice. The Cavs played 12 road games in March, making it difficult for Lue to schedule workouts while making rest for his players a priority. "We haven't practiced anything, especially late-game situations," James said. "I can't remember the last time we had a late-game situation."
LeBron James apologized to Tristan Thompson, who was still fuming after a screaming match during a timeout with his world-famous teammate. Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith both made quick exits before speaking with reporters, and coach Tyronn Lue did everything he could to re-direct pointed fingers at him. "My fault," Lue said. "Blame it on me."
Moments after Cavs forward Kevin Love hit a key 3-pointer for a four-point lead with 26 seconds left, euphoria on the Cavs' bench was zapped when James and Thompson went back and forth. James yelled at Thompson as they were walking to the bench and waved off coach Tyronn Lue when he attempted to calm James' down. Thompson snapped back at James, exchanging words in the huddle throughout a timeout.
Immediately after the game, James expressed remorse. "I have to do a better job of not showing up my teammates out on the floor. I had the right intentions in my mind, but I had the wrong intentions come out of my mouth," James told Fox Sports Ohio on the court after the game ended. "I take full responsibility for that as the leader of the team. So I got to be a lot better at that and be able to keep that in-house in the locker room and when we're watching film." In the locker room, James expanded on his thoughts: "I was a little bit too demonstrative at that point in the game," James said. "He worked hard for our team, he's a big-time player ... but the way it came out was -- it didn't look good on TV."
Lue tried to make light of the situation in his postgame comments. He mentioned that both players were represented by Klutch Sports, founded by Paul, and said the blow up showed "we care about our defense." "The game's on the line, you want to win," Lue said. "Paul George makes a tough shot, they get into it. That's part of the game. You like to see that passion, and a lot of times take it out on the other team. They were both mad and frustrated, but that's what you want to see. We wanted to win that game and it was a big play. Some miscommunication right there, but they got over it."
Chris Fedor: As Kevin Love completely ignores the shouting match and says, "Come on! One stop! One stop!" twitter.com/AlexKennedyNBAâŚ
Rick Noland: Lue on TT/LJ spat: "That shows you we care about our defense. ... They both were made and frustrated, which you want to see"
By the time the visitor's locker room opened inside the United Center following another loss -- Cleveland's fifth in the last seven games and 10th during a pitiful March -- Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Deron Williams and James Jones were the only players remaining. That's because the team meeting, which Kyrie Irving hinted at, had already taken place.
Every journey's different," Irving said. "When you're in it, it absolutely sucks, when you're in a rut like this. We're taking steps forward. After the game we took a step forward." When asked to clarify what he meant by that, Irving declined to share details. "Just in a way that a team should take a step forward when we're in a rut," he said. "I'll leave it at that."
By the time the visitor's locker room opened inside the United Center following another loss -- Cleveland's fifth in the last seven games and 10th during a pitiful March -- Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Deron Williams and James Jones were the only players remaining. That's because the team meeting, which Kyrie Irving hinted at, had already taken place. "Every journey's different," Irving said. "When you're in it, it absolutely sucks, when you're in a rut like this. We're taking steps forward. After the game we took a step forward."
When asked to clarify what he meant by that, Irving declined to share details. "Just in a way that a team should take a step forward when we're in a rut," he said. "I'll leave it at that."
Jason Lloyd: LeBron is in no mood tonight. No postgame icing session, beat Ty Lue out of locker room to address reporters. That's a first
The Cavs' slide continues, and the best anyone can say about them right now is March is almost over. Cleveland fell to the Chicago Bulls 99-93 on Thursday night in a game in which LeBron James passed Shaquille O'Neal (28,596 points) for seventh place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Now is not a time for the Cavs to celebrate personal accolades. James said the milestone "means absolutely nothing right now." It's time to put out a dumpster fire that consumed them this month.
Chuck Garfien: LeBron said Rondo kept breaking down their D. Part of the Cavs gameplan was to take Mirotic out of his comfort zone. "We didn't do it."
After the Cavs lost their ninth game in 15 tries Monday against the Spurs, 14-year vet James Jones spoke in the locker room, asking rhetorically what the players really wanted out of this season, a source told cleveland.com. These kinds of speeches are not unusual, especially at this point in the season with the playoffs fast approaching, but this kind of losing in March is rare for the Cavs. And it's not what one would expect from a defending champion with this kind of talent.
Neither LeBron James nor Kyrie Irving barked at teammates in the locker room, the source said, though the source confirmed what Irving said Monday -- that the losing and the travel have frayed nerves. And yet, as the Cavs get set to play the Chicago Bulls tonight, they find themselves tied for first with the Celtics, who lost Wednesday to Milwaukee.
Ramona Shelburne: Kyrie: "There's definitely been some ups and downs and disagreements. But as adults and professionals we just have to figure it out."
Ramona Shelburne: Kyrie on his shooting cleanse: "I had to face it, had to face the music. I just wasn't doing enough. I need to demand more out of myself."
"It's a delicate time right now for our team," James said after Monday's loss. "A lot of people talking ... guys in the locker room. I'm not saying it's for the bad. We've got a couple guys that's shown leadership, some guys that's been in the fray before that's giving their opinions. I've learned over the season there's a time and place for it. Certain situations. I kind of wait for the right time ... So my time will come."
Tyronn Lue said the controversy surrounding the Cavs was a distraction and "I hate it." "I gotta come and deal with you guys every time it happens," Lue said after practice Thursday. His team has lost six of eight and his star player, LeBron James, and the front office are at odds over the roster.
"Just a lot of distractions," Lue said. "We gotta focus on basketball, getting back to winning. We're the third-best team in the NBA right now. We're a great team, we're the champs, so we just got to get back to playing championship basketball. That's it."
ESPN Cleveland: Brian Windhorst: "LeBron is saying the Cavs aren't as committed to winning a championship as he is. That inflamed people in the organization."
Tension between LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers' leadership is centered on payroll spending, multiple sources told ESPN.
James and team owner Dan Gilbert have different viewpoints on the issue, and it has been straining the relationship, sources said. The matter has been exacerbated by the team's struggles on the court; the Cavs lost for the sixth time in eight games, 116-112 to the Sacramento Kings in overtime, on Wednesday night.
When James was considering a return to the Cavs in 2014, he pressed Gilbert on if he'd be willing to spend unconditionally on talent, regardless of the luxury-tax cost, sources said. Over the course of several meetings with James and his representatives, Gilbert agreed, and James subsequently signed with the team.
The comments angered Gilbert, sources said, because James appeared to imply it was an organizational choice whether to improve or not. This was seen by some as a reference to further spending.
While one team source told ESPN there was amazed disbelief that James could question the Cavs' pledge to repeat as champions -- considering owner Dan Gilbert is on the hook for the largest payroll in league history at more than $127 million, plus luxury tax -- another source within the Cleveland front office told ESPN that the timing of James' words was "brilliant," as the Cavs have thrived in adversity the past several seasons and this chaos that James created could jolt the team out of its current malaise.
Griffin would not disclose the details of his talk with James -- "I'm going to keep that in house but it was a good conversation," he said. "I think we both needed it, I'm happy it happened" -- nor would he say whether James expressed any remorse.
Griffin, a team source told ESPN, expressed his disappointment in James for the manner in which he shared his thoughts on the roster. "It wouldn't have been my preferred method," Griffin told reporters. "It certainly wasn't appropriate from a teammate perspective. But, it is what it is."
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers GM David Griffin on LeBron James' critical comments: "It certainly wasn't appropriate from a teammate perspective." #NBA
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers GM David Griffin: "The comment about the organization being complacent is really misguided." #NBA
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers GM David Griffin: "Its hard to say we're dealing with (too much) adversity because we're first in the East." #NBA
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers GM David Griffin: "We can absolutely increase payroll if it's the right piece at the right time." #NBA
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers GM David Griffin: "If we were 100 percent healthy, I feel good about our chances in any (playoff) series." #NBA
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers GM David Griffin: "The team we have needs to get better from within. A lack of identity on the defensive end has been hard." #NBA
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers GM David Griffin: "I think we have enough (talent) if we play significantly better." #NBA
Joe Vardon: Tyronn Lue said the Cavs talked about LeBron's comments as a team and Griff and Bron spoke privately
Folks within the Cavs laughed during this playoff run about how they functioned best when the situation around them seemed so dysfunctional. So with the building on fire and the team in a 3-1 hole, the Cavs remained perfectly calm. And James delivered.
Richard Jefferson: In my 15 years in the league, and all the basketball Iâve played in my life, Iâve thought a lot about team chemistry. How do you come together at the right time? Iâve been on Finals teams and Iâve been on teams that had no chance to make the playoffs by midseason. To me, this season â and our team â comes down to narratives. All year long we heard about chemistry issues. LeBron and Kevin. Narrative. Kyrieâs injury. Narrative. We got a new coach. Narrative. Oh, weâre not getting along. Based on what? Who was telling our story? Not us. We obviously had a high-profile coaching change. We had slumps. We had injuries â Kyrie missed the first 24 games of the season, so heâs only just now getting to playing the type of MVP-level ball heâs capable of. We clawed our way to 56 wins just trying to find our rhythm.
Richard Jefferson: Itâs O.K. for others to speculate, but those narratives didnât show us as we really were. And for most of the season, that was fine with us. We ignored it and tried to get our groove. Which is why the timing of Lil Kev is interesting. It coincided with the end of the regular season, when something was starting to happen with our team. The change really took off at a dinner at LeBronâs house right before the first round. The change really took off at a dinner at LeBronâs house right before the first round. We were 15 guys sitting around his big dining room table. In the middle of the meal, he stood up and addressed each guy in the room. He pointed out something that each player brought to the team, and explained how it was going to be vital if we wanted to win a championship. And he gave each one of us a memento, a little gift. I wonât share what exactly it was because it was a team thing. But it wasnât anything big. I think it just struck us all in that moment how special a position we were in. Bron was saying to us, âWe can only do this if we do it together. Thatâs all that matters.â Heâs won championships before. We wanted to listen.
Both in the public eye and behind-the-scenes, thereâs generally a lot of noise about the inner-workings of each NBA team. But in Cleveland? These days itâs like sitting front row at a Metallica concert. I have a client in Cleveland, and am continually struck by the unparalleled ebbs and flows that swirl around this group since LeBron James returned to the Cavaliers. Itâs been a rocky road over the past two years that hasnât exactly made for an easy work environment. And with the NBA Finals headed back to Cleveland and the Cavs two losses away from being swept, believe me when I say itâs going to be a long 72 hours for that group.
It seemed like from the time he signed he wanted to take stock of the organization as a whole, to assess everyone else before opening himself up to anyone. While the entire team got together to work out in the offseason, LeBron would show upâŚ but only work out by himself, with his own trainers, after the other players had finished. As you can imagine, it created a sense of separation that felt like it stuck throughout last season.
An example of this I always come back to involves Clevelandâs former No. 3 pick, Dion Waiters. LeBron immediately zeroed in on Waiters upon his return. Before the start of the 2014-15 season, as most NBA teams do each September, all of the players under contract to the Cavs got together to work outâexcept Waiters. LeBron noticed this and instead of addressing it personally with Dion, he made a show of it every time he came into the gym. âWhereâs Dion? Dion isnât here? Anyone seen Dion today?â It became a running joke of sorts. Everyone around the team understood his point, but no one ever actually took action. Everyone also knew that Dionâs leash in Cleveland was going to be very shortâ anything less than a career year would make him expendable. Two months later, he was traded.
When LeBron came back to Cleveland two years ago, I got the impression that it caught everyone from day-to-day staffers to ownership off guard. With LeBron on the roster, the Cavs instantly went from being a club incapable of drawing a great deal of national interest to the most heavily scrutinized team in the NBA. And it didnât feel like they had the processes and protocols in place to handle that attention. You could see it right away. On media day last season, over 300 people showed up. From a security and logistics perspective, the team wasnât prepared and small security issues persisted in the early part of the year. It may seem like a minor detail, but those things tend to be strong indications of how a club operates. Instead of anticipating what was to come, the Cavs played catch-up all year, and that included LeBron himself, who had to play his way into shape during the season.
âThe tweets, well, everybody is like, âLeBronâs being passive-aggressive.â LeBron James isnât passive-aggressive, heâs aggressive-aggressive,â Griffin said. âYou know exactly where he stands as a teammate and a leader. Nobody on our team thought those tweets were directed at him. Nobody on our team took that in a negative way. But because the world at large isnât in our locker room, they think, well, that would really bother them. I donât care what you think if youâre not in that room. âLeBron enjoys and thrives in controversy and he really is comfortable in that space. I think heâs always going to parry with the media. I think heâs going to enjoy that throughout his career. It had no bearing on our locker room.â
Griffin saw those tweets from James differently than the âfit in, fit outâ one during the 2014-15 season that James directed at Kevin Love. âWhen LeBron went at Kevin last year, it was a language that everyone knew was directed at Kevin, including Kevin. It wasnât a situation where heâs hiding anything,â Griffin said.
Griffin downplayed Jamesâ self-generated controversy and said all are motivated daily to help James fulfill his self-appointed mission of delivering Cleveland a championship, last won by the Browns in 1964. But Griffin acknowledged that locker room additions in 2016 have helped. He called the arrival of 10-year veteran Channing Frye in a Feb. 18 trade with the Orlando Magic âa breath of fresh air.â
That internal struggle feels more urgent as two superteams without apparent weaknesses prepare to defeat you in the NBA Finals. It has created obvious turmoil, especially with James. He lashed out at teammates during a players-only meeting after the Cavs fired David Blatt in January, sources have told ESPN.com, and his social media droppings have been inscrutable.
August 17, 2022 | 4:09 pm EDT Update
MSG threw cold water on a report that owner James Dolan could sell off the Knicks and Rangers next year. âWe have no plans to sell either of the teams,â MSG senior VP of communications and marketing Natalie Ravitz told The Post via email. CNBC had given long-suffering Knicks fans hope, thanks to longtime MSG analyst Jonathan Boyar opining that Dolan was finally close to divesting himself from both teams once the MSG Sphere was finished.
Tommy Beer: LeBron is 1,325 points behind Kareem. If LeBron maintains his scoring average of 30.0 points per game from last season and doesn’t miss a single contest, heâd pass Kareem in his 44th game (at home vs. Houston on Jan. 16). The Lakers’ 52nd game is vs. the Knicks at MSG on Jan. 31
John Karalis: According to the Celtics, they will unveil a special Bill Russell tribute 2022-23 City Edition uniform on opening nightâ a project that the league and team had been collaborating on with Russell himself in recent years – which they will wear a total of 12 times this season
Utah Jazz games will remain on regional sports network AT&T SportsNet for the 2022-23 season â but it could be the last season for the arrangement. AT&T SportsNet is available to subscribers of Comcast and DirecTV, but not Dish. Dish has dropped every regional sports network nationwide in recent years, telling consumers that they consider the per-subscriber fees charged by the networks to be too high.
Now, though, the team says it has opened up negotiations with other TV partners. Their goals are to make Jazz games available to fans through three different pathways: traditional TV packages, options for bundled streaming packages, and, intriguingly, pay-per-view streaming.
The Jazz hope that the flexibility there will help combat the rise of illegal streaming. The team conducted a recent focus group on the situation with 50 participants â and when they were asked if they had watched the Jazz through an illegal streaming service, nearly all of the hands in the room went up, the team said.
August 17, 2022 | 3:36 pm EDT Update
LeBron James is ineligible to be traded during the upcoming 2022-23 season because the second year of his extension exceeds a 5% raise. The Lakers could have north of $20 million in salary-cap space in the 2023 offseason and would have the ability to sign a third max contract player in the 2024 offseason. The player options increase salary-cap space if players decline them, and yet remain on new deals.