LeBron James delivered a terrible showing in the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ 111-108 home loss to the Boston Celtics in Sunday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and a reporter gave the King an additional reason to feel upset following the game.

LeBron James Calls Out Reporter After Cavs’ Game 3 Loss to Celtics

The 32-year-old Cavs forward managed only 11 points, went 0-for-4 on 3-pointers and committed six turnovers to record one of the worst games of his playoff career. The finish marked James’ worst postseason point total since a seven-point outing in Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

During Sunday’s post-game press conference in Cleveland, local radio host Kenny Roda made the King extra angry by asking him if his poor performance was due to him being unable to beat the Celtics’s defense — which was particularly strong in Game 3 — or whether he simply wasn’t feeling his shot.

James didn’t scream at Roda, but it was clear the question rubbed him the wrong way, so he took the opportunity to express his discontent with the radio host only making pressing inquiries whenever the Cavaliers lose.

“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.”

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated shared the exchange on Twitter:


Sports Illustrated’s Kenny Ducey also tweeted a brief clip of the end of the news conference, when James — who did not score in the final 16:31 of Sunday’s game — gave Roda a snarky glance and walked away:

Early Monday, Roda responded to James’ complaint in a pair of tweets in which he noted that he has also asked the Cavaliers questions when they win. The radio host also reminded the world that he stated on his radio his belief that James deserved this year’s MVP award:

Roda wasn’t the only person the All-Star became frustrated with because he was called out for his subpar performance, however.

One Cavs fan also jeered at James as he headed back to the locker room. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst described the incident, and suggested the fan was likely intoxicated: “LeBron got peeved at heckling fan after game. LeBron asked what fan had done. (‘What did you do?’) 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.”

According to Daryl Ruiter of CBS Sports Radio’s “92.3 The Fan,” security even got involved:

“I had a tough game, period — not just in the second half,” James said after the fourth-lowest-scoring playoff game of his career, which has spanned 210 postseason games. “Me personally, I didn’t have it. My teammates did a great job of keeping us in the game, building that lead. But me personally, I didn’t have it. That’s all I’ve got to say about my performance.”

Tristan Thompson cited the Cavs’ defensive breakdown, and not James’ lackluster showing, as the reason for his team’s loss. Clevleand’s defense allowed 61 points in the second half after leading 66-50 at the break.

“It doesn’t matter what Bron’s numbers were tonight,” Thompson said. “Defensively, we’ve got to be better. It starts with multiple efforts, taking the challenge one-on-one and making those adjustments and just playing harder.”


The loss marked the end of the Cavaliers’ 13-game playoff winning streak, which includes a 10-0 run in this year’s postseason. Cleveland leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, and will host the Celtics for Game 4 on Tuesday night.

“I feel like you have to have some type of adversity in order to be successful,” James said. “If it was going to happen, let it happen now. Let us regroup. Let us regroup, and all the narrative and everything that was going on, let’s regroup, and let’s get back to playing desperate basketball, which they did tonight. So we’ve got to be a lot better, for sure.”

Before Sunday, James had scored at least 30 points in eight consecutive playoff games.

The defending NBA champion Cavs’ last playoff loss was Game 4 of the 2016 Finals.

Kyrie Irving contributed 29 points, and Kevin Love added 28 for the Cavs. Love scored 22 of his points in the first half.

Marcus Smart started in place of Isaiah Thomas — who is out for the rest of the playoffs with a hip injury — and scored 27 points, including seven 3-pointers, for the Celtics. Avery Bradley added 20 points for Boston, including the game-winning 3 with 0.1 seconds remaining.


In other NBA news, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich announced Sunday that Kawhi Leonard will likely miss the Spurs’ Game 4 at home against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. Leonard continues to suffer from multiple ankle injuries, one of which came courtesy of a closeout by Zaza Pachulia in Game 1 that resulted in a Spurs fan suing Pachulia and Golden State. The Spurs trail the Western Conference Finals 3-0 after losing to the Warriors 120-108 on Saturday.

CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the second quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on May 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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