LeBron James’ second season back in Cleveland has been anything but smooth. From their inconsistent on-the-court product, to the firing of head coach David Blatt, to the circus surrounding James unfollowing the Cavs’ team account on social media has created, things are not going as planned. Bleacher Report’s NBA writer Howard Beck, who recently wrote a piece titled ‘Brothership’ that chronicled James’ relationship with Carmelo Anthony, tried to figure out what exactly is going on inside the superstar’s head.
“It’s a little strange, but it’s been there before,” Beck told The Jim Rome Show. “LeBron has a way of kind of playing this passive aggressive game sometimes, where he’s throwing these little subliminal messages out there or just coded messages out there. Sometimes it’s got a purpose, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s aimed at his teammates, sometimes it’s aimed at the media.”
Beck believes it’s something the Cavaliers organization should be taking note of.
“I think there’s reason for concern there,” Beck said. “Not because I think LeBron is going to leave again, I just can’t even fathom that that would ever happen, but they have serious concerns because it’s Year 2 and that Big 3 is still not a very impressive Big 3.”
Beck said the chemistry is off in Cleveland’s trio of stars.
“You don’t look at LeBron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love and the way they play together, not their talent level, just them as a team and feel the same intimidation factor that the Miami Heat Big 3 or Celtics Big 3 with (Paul) Pierce, (Kevin) Garnett and Ray Allen had. It’s just not there,” Beck said. “They’re not as seamless. They’re not as sewn together. I just think they’re at this point now where this postseason means everything.”
The Bleacher Report senior writer feels if Cleveland’s front office doesn’t see a better finished product with the team by season’s end, one of the Big 3 will not be back in 2016-17.
“I don’t know how far they need to get. I mean, obviously they need to get back to the Finals. I don’t know if they need to win a championship or not, but if they don’t win the championship and certainly, if they somehow fell sort of the Finals, one of those guys is gone,” Beck said. “I don’t think it’s LeBron. It’s quite likely Kevin Love, but I wouldn’t even rule out Kyrie Irving, because clearly there’s been some tension with him as well. He hasn’t been that second playmaker the way that Dwyane Wade was for LeBron. Kyrie’s mostly just been that scoring guard, and his inability to be more well-rounded, I think, has hindered that team to be as good as it’s supposed to be.”
Beck also weighed in on James’ behavior in regards to social media lately, in particular how he handled being asked why he unfollowed the team’s official accounts. Beck said regardless of whether or not James knew about the unfollow, the 4-time league MVP handled the entire situation strangely, by abruptly ending the interview after being asked about it.
“We live in strange times when we’re talking about who people are following or unfollowing on Twitter as a new story, right? But that is the time we live in,” Beck said. “I wouldn’t have known that somebody could have caught that. Now, did LeBron know when he unfollowed, that somebody would see that and create a story, or did he think that would just go unnoticed? I don’t know. Once it does get noticed though, you might as well just answer the question and say hey, I’m combing my Twitter. I’m bearing down for the playoffs. Whether people want to buy that response immediately, that he ducked it initially, obviously, it just ends up raising more suspicion and that’s probably the last thing he should do at this point, because he’s got everybody on edge as it is.”
This post brought to you by Jim Rome.