The Cleveland Cavaliers are officially in a slump.
They’re a measly 4-6 in their last ten games, and just suffered their worst loss of the year last night when they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans despite the fact that the Pelicans best player, Anthony Davis, was not playing.
It isn’t unusual for teams — even championship caliber ones — to struggle through January. But based on his reaction after last night’s game, Cavs superstar LeBron James is not taking his team’s losses in stride.
James started by expressing frustration towards the way the Cavs roster is constructed and a hope that the team isn’t “satisfied.”
We’re not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint … we’re a top-heavy team,” James said. “I just hope that we’re not satisfied as an organization. I just hope we not satisfied. How hard it was to do that s—. I just hope we’re not satisfied.”
The Cavs lost their backup point guard from last year, Matthew Dellevadova, in free agency when he signed a lucrative contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. James has expressed multiple times a desire for the Cavs to replace him, but Cleveland still has no backup to Kyrie Irving.
James then suggested the Cavs front office is wasting his time by not improving the roster:
I don’t got no time to waste,” he said. “I’ll be 33 in the winter and I ain’t got time to waste. That’s what I’m talking about. … When I feel like physically and mentally, me personally, can’t compete for a championship no more or I feel like I can’t do it, then I won’t have this problem. But until that happens, and it don’t seem like no time soon…”
There’s an argument to be made that the Miami Heat front office got lazy in improving their roster, which led to them losing the 2014 Finals, and to seeing their stars flee for greener pastures.
The three-time NBA champion also discussed the role Mo Williams’ last-minute retirement played in the Cavs’ roster woes, stating simply:
We got f—– with that,” James said.
He went on to call out by name two of the bench guards Cleveland currently uses:
No disrespect to DeAndre [Liggins] and to Kay [Felder], you think we can rely on them to help us win a playoff game right now?” James asked. “And it’s no disrespect to them. But it’s like, it’s not fair to them.”
Felder is a rookie, so James’ hesitation about relying on him in the playoffs is obvious. On the other hand, Liggins has been in the league for five years but has never been able to find a home in the league, bouncing between NBA rosters, the D-League, and even doing a brief stint in Germany.
The Cavs forward also talked about the challenging position his coach and his front office are in:
It’s tough for Coach because we’re in the process of trying to win a f—— championship,” James said. “It would’ve been unfair to Delly to ask him his rookie year to play on a championship-level team. So that’s why you got guys in front of him that allows him to (grow). We telling Kay to be a backup point guard to a f—— superstar right now, instead of being a backup point guard to a guy that’s proven in the league. You know what I’m saying?”
“I ain’t got no problems with the front office. I told (Griffin) to his face, so it ain’t like I’m telling y’all to put it on record. I see Griff all the time. One thing about me, if I got something to say, I’m going to tell it to your face. We need a f—— playmaker. I’m not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that.”
One of the names James has suggested the Cavs get in the past is Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo, who seems to be readily available in a trade. But it is unclear what the Bulls would want.
James summarized with his assessment of the year so far, and one last bit of profanity for the road:
It’s been a s—- 2017 so far,” James said.
The Cavs remain the obvious favorite to make the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference, but it’s now clear they need to add a player at the deadline to keep their superstar happy.