Raptors: LeBron’s behaviour disrespectful, but Toronto also playing “too soft”

Powell: LeBron's behaviour disrespectful

TORONTO — Dunking off the backboard. Drinking a beer. Nonchalantly spinning the ball in Serge Ibaka’s face.

LeBron James’s apparent lack of respect for Toronto has added some drama to the Eastern Conference semifinals — at the Raptors’ expense.

“We can’t allow that type of freedom, that type of comfort with him or any other player, to be able to spin the ball like that,” Raptors guard Norm Powell said Friday morning after shootaround. “It’s disrespectful. But it shows us that we’re playing too soft. We need to come out with a mentality and a physicality and a force on both ends that says, ‘You’re not gonna get anything easy.’

“It shouldn’t have happened. It stops tonight.”

Cleveland won the first two games of the best-of-seven series at home. Game 3 is set for Friday night at Air Canada Centre.

Two nights earlier, James shot a three-pointer over Toronto shot-blocker Ibaka, but not before pausing to spin the ball twice in his hands, as if he was lining up to shoot a free throw.

Video of the play blew up on social media.

It was a similar story in Game 1, with James instructing point guard Kyrie Irving to toss the ball off the backboard for an alley-oop dunk you’d normally only see in an all-star game. He also snatched a beer from a sideline hostess and pretended to take a swig.

James’s hijinks were the topic of an ESPN basketball panel, which compiled a montage of similar LeBron incidents, including a game this season in New York where the Cavs star appeared so bored he was playing the “water-bottle challenge” while on the bench.  

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said his players should use James’s behaviour as motivation.

“That play, throwing it off (the glass), having a beer on the sideline … all of those things should get you upset to compete, not to compete but to make it a physical contest,” Casey said.

Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry was “pretty upset” with James’s ball-spinning.

“Not that he did it. He should spin the ball, he’s comfortable, we can’t let him be comfortable, we have to make him uncomfortable,” Lowry said. “He’s in a situation right now where he’s playing very comfortably and the things he’s doing are comfortable. If I was comfortable I would do the same thing.”

How can the Raptors’ extinguish James’s behaviour? 

“Play harder,” Lowry said.

James, who scored 74 points combined in Games 1 and 2, was asked about the Ibaka play after Friday’s shootaround.

“I was just basically in my zone, in my comfort zone and after I spun the ball and I jabbed him, I (saw) what I needed to see from the defender to be able to get that shot off,” James said. “If I didn’t see it, I would have drove it and if I didn’t have the drive, I would have (given) it up and let one of my teammates attack.”

 

 

Lori Ewing , The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

Tsawout hosts Saanich Peninsula community leaders at blanket ceremony

Reconciliation event meant to share the Indigenous exerience

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

UPDATED: 9 killed, 16 injured after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Toronto police say nine people have died and 16 are injured

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Most Read