I'm not going to agree with Mr. James too often, but in this I have to agree. This was like 80's basketball. It was fierce and it was ornery. Good times.
"This game has lost a little bit of that through the years, a little bit of talking," James said. "Teams not liking each other. That’s the same thing I figured out last year when I walked off the court in Orlando [after being eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals]. People were mad that I didn’t shake hands. I’m not happy. I’m disgusted that I lost and I move on to the next season. That’s what the game’s lost, it’s lost what it had in the ’80s and early ’90s when teams really didn’t like each other."
I think it is still a little lame that he's using this as an excuse to not shake hands. It is still just a game - leave it on the court.
James also had a message for anyone who viewed the Cavs' loss as a chink in their armor: "We are still missing a very, very big, huge - literally - piece to our team."
Again, I agree and disagree. I agree that they were missing a big ingredient to their success. But it wasn't who he was talking about. I think they miss Varejao much more than they miss Shaq.
"It’s two teams that I don’t think love each other," Rivers said. "I can say that, and there’s two teams that want to beat each other. And I think in Cleveland’s case early on, we were having our way, so they got frustrated. In our case late, they were having their way. And then we got frustrated."
On another note: If and when these teams face each other in the playoffs, we'll never be able to feel completely safe with any lead. The Celtics have given up huge leads in both of the last two games against the Cavs. Once when Shaq was injured and had to leave and the other when Mike Brown was tossed. Hmmm, maybe there's a theme there?