This current iteration of the Cleveland Cavaliers is a far cry from the “Hollywood as hell” Heatles of the Big 3 era in Miami. It’s also a long way from the pre-2010 Cavs, whose elaborate pre-game rituals and introductory routines were at times indistinguishable from avant-garde theatrical performances. LeBron James is a different person now. He still likes to have fun, but he’s matured significantly and has a much better grasp on the notion that there’s a time and place for everything.
And one thing he’s decided recently is that the starting lineup introductions are no time for horsing around. He and the rest of the Cavs are now eschewing that aspect of the routine and instead huddling up with head coach David Blatt to talk strategy. Via Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:
“It’s just about being focused and preparing for the game,” James told cleveland.com. “It’s something we did in Miami at certain points. It’s about playing the game the right way and your approach. Staying locked in and being ready to go.”
It’s no surprise that the move coincided with consecutive losses to the Bucks and Pistons last week, after which the four-time MVP skewered his team’s effort, stating publicly that they were “not a great team” at the moment, and that the defending champion Warriors were hungrier than they were. His methods might be unorthodox, but you can’t argue with the results. The Cavs fired off two straight wins after that and vaulted to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Just how long they plan on skipping the intros remains uncertain, however.