I’m an avid Cavs fan who grew up in Beachwood, a suburb of Cleveland. I moved to Scottsdale in 2002 and have attended every Cavs/Suns game since. I didn’t even have a ticket to this game until 2 hours prior when I stumbled upon a ticket directly behind the Cavs bench for $300, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Hearing about the discord between coach David Blatt and LeBron James for the past week, I noticed some interesting interactions on the sidelines between the two. I took these videos during timeouts.
It sure looks to me like James is not paying attention to Blatt and is clearly disengaged. During some of the huddles he is staring into the distance, is 10 feet removed from the rest of the team, and even walks away from Blatt to the other side of the court, nowhere near his teammates.
There was little to no interaction between LBJ and Blatt. With a few minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Cavs made a miraculous comeback to tie it up from trailing by as many as 18, and while Blatt was drawing up a play, LBJ cut him off and took over the huddle. I don’t have an agenda here. I’m simply reporting what I saw. You be the judge.
Point in Game: 7:53 AZ time, early second quarter, Cavs were down by 8.
LBJ as far away from huddle as possible, almost under the basket.
Early 2nd quarter (7:37pm), James was pissed Cavs were getting smoked.
LBJ starts off paying attention then starts talking to J.R. Smith 20 seconds in, then gets up and walks away from teammates without putting hand in the huddle.
Point in Game: 8pm AZ time, towards end of second quarter:
LBJ not even paying attention to or looking at Blatt during timeout – looking away at other side of floor and at 22 secs the guy in the courtside seat next to him, then ties shoes and gets up.
Point in Game: 8:42pm, mid 3rd quarter when getting blown out (down 18) and he had just been sent to the bench and didn’t want to go out, he was at the end of the bench not talking to anyone.
LBJ looking in on floor huddle behind Blatt, then walks away at 25 seconds to other side then completely leaves huddle at 37 seconds.
Point in Game: This is toward the end of the game when Cleveland just got back in it and tied it up. LeBron was animated when coming into the huddle saying to his teammates we can (explexitive) win this game. Was the first time I saw him all game talking to teammates and having any excitement level in the huddle or leadership, showing any signs of leadership. This seems to happen only when he gets hot and is leading the charge.
LBJ takes over as Coach during a TO, only David Blatt didn’t know ahead of time.
Send your comments to Bruce Twersky on Twitter. He is @collegediscards.