Things have not gone as anyone expected for the Miami Heat this season. Dwyane Wade has strugged mightily, Chris Bosh has started slowly, injuries have robbed the Heat of Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller, and all the world is wondering whether LeBron James made a mistake in choosing to take his talents to South Beach.
That's the right set of circumstances to get people thinking this bump of Erik Spoelstra during last night's loss to the Dallas Mavericks was intentional.
Removed from context like that, it certainly seems like it could have been intentional. But given some of the other details, it seems clear that this was incidental contact.
Ethan Skolnick, who covers the Heat for the Palm Beach Post, tweeted that he thinks it was accidental contact:
I don't think LeBron meant to knock over coach. I just think obliviousness of all parties embodied the frustration.
And, though you might have a hard time seeing it in slow-motion, LeBron does seem to try to pat Spoelstra after the bump, the universal, "Whoops, dude" gesture.
But given LeBron's public perception and history of bumping coaches, this will no doubt be a minor media firestorm for the Heat, a team that seems to score more bad press than points at the moment. What should LeBron and Co. do to rectify that?
Winning would be a good start.