LeBron James and Tristan Thompson were seen getting into a heated exchange on the court Sunday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Indiana Pacers, just squeaking by with the win in double overtime.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, LeBron James and Tristan Thompson let their tempers boil over on Sunday night, and the result wasn’t pretty. James, who put up 41 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists, adding another triple-double to his resume, appeared to be upset about the defensive coverage on Pacers star Paul George, who finished the game with 43 points. As Indiana ran plays that required Thompson to switch and defend George, James expressed his frustration with his teammate, and the result was not a desired sight for Cleveland Cavaliers fans.
Just after Kevin Love hit a clutch three-pointer to push Cleveland’s lead to four points with only 26 seconds left to play, LeBron James was seen snapping at Tristan Thompson as they walked off the court together toward the bench for a timeout. Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue tried to calm James down but failed as the King waved off his coach and continued to exchange words with Thompson. Of course, Tristan hit back at LeBron, and the two continued their heated exchange in the huddle during the timeout.
After the game, LeBron James defended his mindset but was regretful about the way his got his message was relayed.
“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. 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.
“I was a little bit too demonstrative at that point in the game. 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.”
LeBron James reportedly apologized to Tristan Thompson in the locker room after the game, and Thompson spoke privately with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ general manager, David Griffin, before addressing the media about the situation.
“We’re family. Little miscommunication in the huddle. Move forward. Move forward. We’re family. Got each other’s back always. Move forward. Not going to get into (the reasons), just miscommunication, like I said. Move forward. It is what it is. Got the win.”
Although the Cleveland Cavaliers did get the win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, there was reportedly a noticeable tension in the air. Kyrie Irving left the building without speaking to the media for the second week straight, and rumors are now swirling that the Cavs are imploding as they get ready to head into the playoffs with hopes of defending their title.
As fans know, the Cavs have had a rough season. The team has been plagued with injuries and were without key players like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, and Kyle Korver for many games, in addition to signing Andrew Bogut, only to see his season end after less than a minute of play in a Cavs uniform. Currently, the Cavs still hold the number one spot in the Eastern Conference. However, they’ll be facing their biggest threat, the Boston Celtics, this week, and the winner of the game will come away with control over the tiebreaker if the two teams were to end up with the same record in the East.
What are your thoughts on LeBron James and Tristan Thompson’s heated exchange during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ game on Sunday night?
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]