ESPN NBA reporter Brian Windhorst has reported that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving exchanged words in the locker following the Cavaliers blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, where the Cavs had a total of just 6 assists, the lowest in franchise history.
Windhorst, who is probably the most well-sourced reporter when it comes to LeBron James and the Cavs, said that he spoke to multiple sources who told him that after the Cavs loss to Portland, James voiced his displeasure with the way that the Cavs had been playing.
James, who finished the game at Portland with just 11 points [0 points in the second half], talked about how the Cavs need to move the ball more than they are, and that Kyrie Irving [who hasn’t gotten an assist in the last 6 quarters of basketball that he’s played] needs to be more of a point guard and distribute the ball more. Irving has taken 36 shots since his last assist.
Windhorst also reported that the exchange between Irving and James in the Cavs locker room following the loss at Portland was not heated, and was pleasant for the most part. However, if the style of play in Cleveland doesn’t change, it has the potential to get very ugly.
Yesterday, the Inquisitrreported that LeBron James is letting his young teammates fail on purpose to prove the point that their style of play doesn’t work, and that they need to listen to him in order to be successful. It does seem that James, and not head coach David Blatt, is calling the shots in the Cavs locker room.
Last night in the Cavs last-second loss to the Utah Jazz, LeBron suggested a new starting lineup to the Cavs head coach, where the Cavs started Shawn Marion over Dion Waiters. James has also expressed his desire to be on the floor with Mike Miller more so that he is surrounded with shooters instead of ball-dominating scorers like Dion Waiters.
James was asked about the Cavs racking up just 6 assists in their loss to Portland and said the following.
“There’s no way you’re going to win a basketball game like that, just having six assists. We just can’t win like that and we got to figure out a way to help each other and not make it so tough.”
James was also asked about Irving’s score-first mentality.
“Well, I mean, as far as [Irving’s] scoring, it was big time. He made all the shots we needed to keep us in the game,” James said. “He made some great plays down the stretch, finished above the rim. It was great.”
When Irving was asked about the Cavs struggles he said the following.
“For us it was a growing process that we have to go through. It sucks right now. For us, we’re still young and I’m still learning what’s going on.”
The Cavs are off to a disappointing 1-3 start, and while it’s still early, the situation between Irving and James in the Cavs locker room has the potential to get very ugly.
[Image via sportsnaut.com]