LeBron James looked quite chummy with Dwyane Wade during the Cavaliers’ loss to the Heat on Saturday. LeBron’s closeness with Wade was echoed in a recent article where LeBron said he hoped to someday play with Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.
That’s a lot of talk by LeBron involving players who aren’t on the team he recently unfollowed on Twitter.
So, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue and general manager David Griffin approached LeBron.
Lue spoke with James after Saturday’s 122-101 loss in Miami, during which at halftime James was noticeably chatting it up with his friend, Heat star Dwyane Wade, instead of warming up with the Cavs trailing by 21.
“I just told him we can’t have that, being down like we were and him being the leader,” Lue told cleveland.com. “Just me being a competitor, I didn’t like it. We had a long talk about it. It was good. He understood, he apologized, and he’s been great.”
Griffin’s talk with James on Wednesday afternoon was a little more general, but was sparked by James’ comments to The Bleacher Report that he wanted to play with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul on the same team for a “year or two.”
Griffin’s discussion with James was positive and productive, with James echoing recent public statements about an upward trend for the Cavs heading into the playoffs.
I don’t envy Lue and Griffin here. Though they hold supervisory roles in the organization, LeBron clearly outranks them. That’s a tough line to walk.
LeBron might be able to talk with Wade and remain competitive. LeBron discussing playing with his friends might not carry much meaning. LeBron’s cryptic tweets might not have anything to do with basketball.
But what do his teammates think?
Do they let their guard down when they see LeBron chatting with the opponent? Do they become bitter when he talks about other teammates? Are they suspicious of his tweets?
For the Cavaliers to have any chance of winning a championship this season, they need everyone on the same page. LeBron can do more to ensure it happens.
He might not like the messages from Lue and Griffin, but they’re probably ones he needed to hear.