Much has been made about LeBron James bumping Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra last night during the Heat’s 106-95 loss at Dallas.
The video is somewhat compelling, especially given James’ arm flourish at the end - which may have punctuated a deliberate non-verbal message. Or not.
Perhaps even more compelling though is that James did almost exactly the same thing in 2007.
While playing for Cleveland that year, James was also walking to the bench during a timeout when he appeared to initiate a shoulder-to-shoulder collision with then-Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown.
But in that case, there was an overheard angle to the video. An angle that appears to show James turning into Brown before the two collided.
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reported at the time of the incident between Brown and James:
Amid the embarrassment at Madison Square Garden, James and Brown bumped shoulders on the floor as time was called in the fourth quarter. A video clip of the moment was shown repeatedly on ESPN, and because both Brown and James were upset at the time, it led to speculation there may have been a problem between the two.
“It was one guy looking one way and he was looking the other,” Brown said. “I was kind of shocked when somebody told me (it was an issue). There’s nothing to it. I think we have a great relationship.”
James, too, dismissed the incident.
“No issue,” he said.
The operative word at the time from the now-fired Brown: “I think we have a great relationship.”
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