Between Game 4 and Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, things looked (very) bleak for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. As the entire NBA world knows, that picture changed drastically on the heels of the Draymond Green suspension and the Cavs rose from the grave to rattle off three straight wins in the now legendary comeback victory.
While Green’s suspension is still discussed as perhaps the pivot point in the series, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson may have poked the bear in his own way. At the time, Thompson said the following about the incident between James and Green that prompted the technical and suspension:
“Guys talk trash in this league all the time. I’m just kind of shocked some guys take it so personal. You know, it’s a man’s league and I’ve heard a lot of bad things on that court, but at the end of the day, it stays on the court. We’re all competitive people. Trash talk is a part of the game in basketball. I feel like it’s a part of any sport, especially this competitive.”
Thompson’s indication that the NBA is “a man’s league” did not sit well with James and, during that same press availability, Thompson said that “his feeling just got hurt” with regard to the soon-to-be Finals MVP.
While it is well publicized just how absurd James was in the three-game comeback performance, the best player in the league hasn’t stopped there and it can all potentially be traced back to an opponent challenging his manhood to some extent.