Players arguing in the NBA isn't usually a big deal. But when one of the players involved is the sport's most recognizable name, and that arguing occurs during what's been a rough stretch for his team, what normally isn't a story becomes one.
In the second overtime of their win over the Pacers on Sunday, LeBron James and Tristan Thompson sparred during a timeout after a miscommunication that happened on defense a few moments earlier. As the two Cavaliers were walking toward their bench, they could be seen screaming at one another as coach Tyronn Lue tried to calm things down.
James, however, disregarded Lue and continued to challenge Thompson. But Thompson didn't back down from four-time MVP, as cameras showed him giving it right back to James.
Kevin Love, meanwhile, stood awkwardly behind Thompson, probably wishing he had a phone to look at or magazine to read so he could pretend to ignore what was happening.
Tristan Thompson was yelling at LeBron James the same way LeBron used to yell at Mario Chalmers. 😂 pic.twitter.com/vrBT01KanG— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 3, 2017
After the contest, James apologized for his role in the incident.
"I've got to do a better job of not showing up my teammates out on the floor," he said. "I can be a lot better than that, be able to keep that in house, in the locker room and when we're watching film."
The Cavs have won two contests in a row after they dropped three straight, but their defense in particular has been concerning as of late. They now sit in the No. 2 slot in the Eastern Conference with six games left to go.
Fans of Cleveland will be hoping that James and Thompson can put their outbursts behind them as they work to get back in form before the playoffs. Supporters for teams like the Wizards, Celtics and Raptors, though, wouldn't mind seeing the issue linger.