- Ezra Shaw/Getty
LeBron James seems to be on odd terms with Cleveland Cavaliers management these days.
Last Monday, after a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, James criticized the roster construction, calling the Cavaliers “top-heavy as s—,” saying they need a “f—ing playmaker,” and would be in trouble if he or Kyrie Irving got injured.
Later on in the week, Cavs GM David Griffin shot back saying James’ criticisms were “misguided” and that the team needs to improve from within.
An ESPN report later said that James and owner Dan Gilbert’s relationship is “straining” over team spending, with James feeling the Cavs aren’t investing enough in new players. The Cavs paid an NBA record $161 million in payroll and taxes last season.
Though the Cavs don’t appear to be on the verge of any major moves, and Griffin said he had a productive talk with James last week, James still managed to squeeze in another shot on Sunday after a 107-91 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While praising Tristan Thompson’s play, James said (via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin), “He’s the one rim protector that we have, and we need him to continue to do that.”
It’s a subtle dig, but the implication is that James feels the Cavs are lacking big men to hold down the paint. Of course, in the offseason, the Cavaliers let Timofey Mozgov walk in free agency. They later signed veteran center Chris Andersen, but he tore his ACL early in the season, leaving the Cavs with little depth at center.
According to McMenamin, Thompson wasn’t thrilled with James’ criticisms, but generally brushed them off.
“Everyone has got to take a step forward and just be 1 percent better. So, LeBron’s comments is what it is. I really don’t give a f—. I just got to keep playing better. We got to keep playing harder.”
Once again, James is letting it be known that he’s not happy with where the Cavaliers are, and he’s making certain that management knows about it.