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LeBron James on bench meltdown: ‘Family’s not always about a bed of roses’

LeBron James was caught on camera by TNT in full meltdown mode during the second quarter of Thursday night’s demoralizing 133-99 loss on the road to the Toronto Raptors.

The prevailing suspicion has been James’ rant was a continuation of his dressing down of Kevin Love as the they made their way to the bench after a Tyronn Lue timeout, as Love had just allowed an easy basket. According to a subsequent report, however, the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar’s ire was directed at assistant coach Phil Handy, not Love.

Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon reports that sources say James took issue with Handy confronting players as the team approached the bench.

James evidently took issue with that, telling the coach the players were handling it on their own. After the loss, James declined to address the situation except to say the issue was handled at halftime.

“Family’s not always about a bed of roses,” James said.

James went on to discuss accountability.

“We’ve all got to be accountable for actions, accountable for how we play, how hard we play, what we’re doing for one another,” James said. “Just plays that you should come up with, you should make, and when you’re losing, you tend to not want to make those plays or tend to let some plays get away from you. And we can’t afford that right now, the way we’re playing ball. So, just trying to hold everybody accountable and move on, which we did.”

Lue added after the game he had no knowledge of what prompted the exchange, saying, “I wasn’t there. I was in the coach’s circle so I didn’t see it.”

James of course is afforded far more latitude than most players in these kind of situations. That said, his meltdown is hardly surprising. The Cavs have been blown out of the gym two games in a row and look lost on defense. Odds are the team is likely to turn it around. But that doesn’t make their recent play any less concerning.

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