The Cavaliers have won 13 of their last 14 games, but all might not be well in Cleveland. Following the team's 120-105 home win over the Lakers, LeBron James acknowledged to a small group of reporters that a tweet he posted late Saturday had indeed been a shot at Kevin Love.
"Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts," wrote James.
On Sunday night he was asked whether the tweet had been directed at anyone in specific. Initially James denied that it was, and said, via Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com, "It was more about people in general. It was a general thought I had. Obviously whatever thought I have people try to encrypt it and Da Vinci code it and all that stuff. People are always trying to fit out instead of fit in and be part of something special. That's what it's all about."
But after the majority of the reporters had left, James was pressed further. One reporter, ESPN's Dave McMenamin, showed LeBron an October story where Love, who had 32 points and 10 rebounds Sunday against the Lakers, was quoted using the phrases "fit in" and "fit out."
Kevin Love extension
Kevin Love extension
"I'm comfortable and just not trying to, I guess, fit in so much," Love said then. "I had a talk with the guys on the plane ride over (to Brazil) and also at different practices off the floor and they told me to fit out. Just be myself."
James, according to Lloyd, smiled, laughed and then changed his stance.
"It's not a coincidence, man," he said, referring to his tweet and use of the same words. When asked by Lloyd if he was speaking on the record, James added: "Ain't nothing off the record. I know everything that comes out of my mouth. If I say it, it's on the record."
Love, according to Lloyd, didn't see the initial tweet and had no idea any of this was going on. When the tweet and quotes were brought to his attention, by Lloyd, he seemed confused.
"I feel like I've done all the right things. I haven't got upset or been down," Love said. "There's moments when I hope I would've played better but it's a long, long season. I don't know really what he's talking about. I feel like I've sacrificed and I think everyone knows that. I'm not trying to downplay what he said, but I think I've done a pretty good job of trying to help this team."
James issued a mea culpa on Twitter on Monday where he again denied the importance of his tweet:
I like u guys a lot(Media) but don't try and make a story cause it looks good. If I have a problem with a teammate or anyone I'll say to....— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 9, 2015
their face and not over social media. That's corny and wack! So good try again my friends(Media), I still love you guys.— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 9, 2015
What caused James to go after Love now is unclear. It could have been Love's five-point effort Friday in a loss to the Pacers. But the Cavaliers are playing their best ball of the season and Love, who is averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds per game, did bounce back with a good game Sunday. Granted, the tweet had already been posted by then. But James could have easily diffused the situation had he stuck to original postgame remarks.
The Cavaliers next game is Wednesday against the Heat. You can be sure that none of this will be going away any time soon.
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