The month of January has not been kind to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team is 3-6 on the month and Isaiah Thomas’ return to the court and addition to the roster has not provided them with any kind of positive lift.
Things are not going well in Cleveland and the Cavs are the NBA’s most interesting team because of it. There are constant anonymous reports and quotes from players out of Cleveland regarding who is at fault for the Cavs’ slide and a seemingly never ending supply of trade rumors from DeAndre Jordan to Kent Bazemore to Kemba Walker.
The latest drama with the Cavs involves Kevin Love falling sick and having to leave the Thunder game after the first half and missing practice on Sunday. The Cavs had a team meeting on Monday and it was reported that there were multiple players that questioned the legitimacy of Love’s illness in a very tense atmosphere. Love explained himself and the sense was that most accepted his explanation, but it’s clear there are a lot of issues the Cavs have to work out.
Those issues don’t stop with Love and the finger pointing at the meeting was not directed exclusively at the All-Star forward. According to cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, the meeting featured an airing of grievances from players that touched on pretty much everyone on the roster.
ESPN reported that players confronted Love about it before practice on Monday. Two sources confirmed the team meeting to cleveland.com, and on Sunday cleveland.com reported that Love had gone home during the game.
“It’s been hanging in the air,” one source said.
Another source told cleveland.com that virtually everyone on the team was called out at some point during the meeting.
The optimistic view of this meeting is that everyone felt comfortable enough to speak openly about their problems with one another and that’s the first step to resolving them. The pessimistic view is that it’s kind of insane that a team needed yet another air it out meeting this season and pretty much everyone on the roster was a target at one point or another. Somewhere in between there is probably where the Cavs really stand, as it’s hard to look at this and feel like it’s a good thing but also understanding that it’s somewhat better than them continuing their passive-aggressive standoffs on social media and through anonymous quotes.
Tuesday night we’ll find out if their latest meeting helped or not when they take on the Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs in San Antonio. If their losing streak continues (currently 3-9 in the last 12) then trade rumors will only pick up regarding some of their lesser stars around LeBron.