The Cavaliers topped the Pacers in double overtime on Sunday, but it wasn’t without fireworks. After a miscommunication led to a Paul George three-pointer, LeBron James reacted very demonstratively.
Right before them going to the bench. pic.twitter.com/kcOk2qUuv2— ⓂarcusD2.0 (@_MarcusD2_) April 3, 2017
Tristan Thompson didn’t take kindly to that public call-out, and he let James hear it during the team’s next timeout.
LeBron James and Tristan Thompson jawing pic.twitter.com/VafULbBo2t— ⓂarcusD2.0 (@_MarcusD2_) April 3, 2017
It’s certainly not super fun to see, as the poor young fan in the blue shirt looks like he’s seeing a ghost, but the two were quick to bury the hatchet after the game.
LeBron apologized for showing his teammate up in public, which was likely the right move to make.
Tristan, for his part, didn’t really get into the incident, saying that the team is a “family”.
Tyronn Lue said in his postgame comments that he liked to see the passion from his team:
“Well, that shows you that we care about our defense,” Lue said. “The game is long, you want to win. Paul George makes a tough shot. That’s part of the game. You like to see that passion. A lot of times to take it out on the other team but they were both mad and frustrated which you want to see. We wanted to win that game, it was a big play and some miscommunication right there but they got over it.”
Lue’s response isn’t surprising. Lue’s MO hasn’t been that of a micromanager, and he trusts his leaders to figure things out. Overall, this is the kind of tiff that comes out during a highly competitive game. We saw it happen earlier in the year when Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had an on-court blow up. Things get heated, and that’s sort of how this stuff works.
It’s good to see LeBron apologizing after the game, as showing teammates up on-court is the kind of thing we might see from a different star, cough Kobe Bryant cough.
Also worth noting is that Thompson is confident enough to hold his ground against LeBron. Tristan isn’t a fresh-faced rookie any more, and it makes perfect sense that he’d go out of his way to avoid becoming poor Mario Chalmers.
This is the kind of thing that blows over sooner rather than later, but in the moment, it’s certainly interesting.
The Cavaliers play the Magic on Tuesday, and we’ll see if the team’s full roster suits up given the extra minutes burden.