LeBron James calls out reporter after poor performance in loss to Celtics

Ball Don't Lie
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/cle/" data-ylk="slk:Cleveland Cavaliers">Cleveland Cavaliers</a>’ LeBron James, right, backs down <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/bos/" data-ylk="slk:Boston Celtics">Boston Celtics</a>’ <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5068/" data-ylk="slk:Jae Crowder">Jae Crowder</a> (99) during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, right, backs down Boston CelticsJae Crowder (99) during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James will remember the tie you wore yesterday, the route to a friends’ house that he hasn’t been to in 10 years and the cheat codes to every video game he’s ever played. And you better believe he will remember the times that a reporter asks him questions.

James had a rusty night on Sunday, scoring just 11 points and going 0-for-4 from 3-point range in the Cavaliers’ loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. It was his worst playoff point total since a seven-point performance in Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers. He did not score a single basket in the final 16:31 of Sunday’s game. The loss also snapped Cleveland’s 13-game playoff winning streak, including a perfect 10-0 record in this year’s run.

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But James knows all that. He doesn’t need reporters to point out where he fell short. So, when Cleveland radio host Kenny Roda asked James whether it was the Celtics’ defense that hindered his scoring ability or if he just wasn’t feeling his shot (a fair question), James gave him a straight answer:

“I was just pretty poor,” James said. “What do you want me to say? It seems like you only ask questions when we lose. It’s a weird thing with you, Kenny, you always come around when we lose, I swear.”

There is that memory again.

Roda disputed James’ claim in a couple follow-up tweets:

James also appeared to glance at Roda with a smile on his face as he exited the interview room:

It was clear James was a little frustrated with his performance, and rightfully so. He even reportedly got into it with a fan on the way to the interview room. From ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:

LeBron got peeved at heckling fan after game. LeBron asked what fan had done. Dude replied: “I played at Hiram College.” Emotions were raw in the moment but the guy’s liquid courage was pretty hilarious. He was removed from arena shouting his college stats.

But before anyone jumps on the “MJ never scored 11 points in a playoff game” train too quickly, the Cavs still lead the series 2-1, and despite Sunday’s outing, James is averaging 34.3 points per game in the postseason. The Celtics and Cavaliers will face off in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday.

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