LeBron upset with direction of slumping Cavaliers
Tom Withers | The Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James has alluded to flaws with Cleveland’s roster all season.
He got much more detailed about the cracks and crevices in the NBA champions after their fifth loss in seven games.
James urged the team’s front office to do more after a 124-122 loss Monday night to the New Orleans Pelicans, who were missing star forward Anthony Davis.
“We’re not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint,” he said. “We’re a top-heavy team. … I just hope we’re not satisfied as an organization.”
On Tuesday, James went on Twitter to explain that his comments weren’t directed at Cavs general manager David Griffin or Cleveland’s coaching staff.
“I not mad or upset at management cause Griff and staff have done a great job, I just feel we still need to improve in order to repeat…” James tweeted. “If that’s what we wanna do.”
After speaking to a larger group of reporters on Monday night, James saved his most biting comments for Cleveland’s traveling beat writers.
The Cavs haven’t played well for weeks, and James felt the need to unload.
“It’s been a (lousy) 2017 so far,” he said.
His biggest issue is with the current makeup of the Cavs, who have been hurt most by allowing backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova to leave as a free agent and injuries to forward Chris Andersen and guard J.R. Smith. James watched the Golden State Warriors retool after losing in last year’s NBA Finals and feels the Cavs haven’t done enough to address their biggest needs.
James said he’s expressed his opinions directly to Griffin, who recently obtained Kyle Korver in a trade with Atlanta.
“We need a (expletive) playmaker. I’m not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that,” James said.
Griffin has an open roster spot and two small trade exceptions. The trading deadline is Feb. 23 and free agents can be signed until March 1 to be eligible for the playoffs.
Now in his 14th season, James knows his time to win more titles is dwindling.
“I don’t know what we got to offer,” James said of possible deals. “I just know me, personally. I don’t got no time to waste. I’ll be 33 in the winter, and I ain’t got time to waste.”
It remains to be seen whether James’ public rant will spark the team. But James also knows that the Cavs will do anything within reason to accommodate him. What King James wants, he usually gets.
Despite their recent slide, the Cavs still have the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland hosts Sacramento on Wednesday as well as Brooklyn and Oklahoma City later this week.