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

Rent continues to rise in Prince Rupert, drops in Terrace

A report from Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation shows the average rent has risen by $132

Cops targeting risky behaviour, auto crime

Holiday campagaigns aim to keep roads safe, valuables protected

Terrace RCMP seeking witnesses in last month’s armed robbery.

And officers will be looking for unlocked vehicles this weekend after Cram a Cruiser event.

First step taken for major in-land port development

City of Terrace seeks financing for feasibility study of Terrace-based transload facility

Regional leaders unite at Terrace Greyhound hearings

Greyhound answers questions, public concerns at Passenger Transportation Board meeting

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Missing Alberta man could be headed to Victoria

Police in Alberta say Vernon “Allan” Pickard has not been heard from since late November

Cineplex charges extra at some Star Wars screenings

Fans are getting a surprise twist at the box office with extra $1 charges for assigned seating

Toddler sent to hospital following dog bite at Vancouver Island daycare

Malamute/husky cross involved in incident at 1200-block of Burnside Rd. West

Local guides aren’t happy with grizzly ban

Guides say new ban could end businesses, including first nations outfitters and float planes.

Provincial Contractor of the Year awards handed out across B.C.

Deputy Minister’s 2017 awards recognize excellence in transportation and infrastructure

Most Read