LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were bulldozed by the Miami Heat last night, falling by a 21-point margin.
Apparently some Cavs reporters woke up feeling salty, with Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer whipping up a sizzling column this morning centered around how LeBron’s relationship with Dwyane Wade could potentially stop Cleveland from getting past Miami in the playoffs.
Haynes writes LeBron “fraternizing” with Wade at the half — Cleveland down 20 — might’ve had a “negative psychological effect on his teammates.”
Let’s say Cavs coach Tyronn Lue had a spirited halftime speech in which he challenged his guys to pick up the intensity, demanded they play with aggression and urged them to stick together, no matter what.
And then immediately after, James drifts off and entertains Wade while the rest of his Cavaliers teammates are shooting jumpers, getting warmed up for what they’re hoping to be a forceful second-half comeback attempt.
How are his teammates supposed to digest that playful interaction? It wasn’t the best look.
Not only does this Cavs team emit mental fragility organically but its reporters are cultivating it. I can understand how LeBron flying to Miami randomly during the season to work out with Wade can be distracting but to write an entire column about how fraternizing with Wade at halftime of a regular season blowout could be hurting the feelings of his Cavs teammates is both preposterous and hilarious.
… But, James continuing to hang out with the opposition’s best player — a player who happens to be one of his best friends, a player he won two titles with — isn’t conducive to building locker-room camaraderie.
The brotherly love those two players share is genuine, but James might need to consider suspending that relationship until the Cavs can at least win a game in Miami…
Haynes then steers his column directly towards the Miami Heat’s groin.
But that loss had nothing to do with what the Heat did and had everything to do with what the Cavaliers didn’t do.
Really? So it was the Cavs who beat the Cavs last night?
Did Haynes actually watch the game or was he too focused on Miami’s different clientele? Cleveland hit 52 percent of their shots from the field and 42 percent of their threes… and still lost by 21 points.
That’s an evisceration anyway you slice it. How about crediting the one swinging the uppercuts?
Instead Haynes delivers a crotch shot to the significantly better team last night amid a column centered around the ridiculous notion that LeBron is letting his friendship with Wade get in the way of Cleveland’s championship aspirations.
The Cleveland Cavatears.