ESPN — With the Knicks providing little resistance, some of the Cavaliers resorted to playing the water-bottle challenge to kill time on the bench Wednesday night during the closing moments of Cleveland’s 126-94 win.
Cameras caught LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and other Cavs flipping a water bottle and trying to land it upright while the Cavs were up by 31 with less than a minute to go at Madison Square Garden.
Irving successfully nailed a flip, but it wasn’t caught on camera. The video that went viral showed a few Cavs players failing miserably. At one point, James tossed the bottle forward and it landed on the court. James sprawled out to quickly grab the bottle while play went to the opposite end of the court.
This looks immature and disrespectful and like something a bunch of middle school basketball players would do on the bench, but I think LeBron knew exactly what he was doing here.
He started this as a jab at Phil Jackson for referring to his friends as his “posse” back in November and LeBron took offense to that term and you all know the story.
Coming into this game against Jackson’s Knicks, LeBron stated he would not talk to Jackson about the comment and said, “My only mindset is to get our guys ready and execute the game plan. I got a job to do every night and that’s to lead this group, and I’ll do that.”
And he did, he led them in the water bottle challenge to send a message to Phil Jackson about what he said instead of talking to him about it like an adult and then dropping it.
LeBron is right: he has a job to do because he is a professional basketball player and this was a pretty amateur thing to do. Blowing out the Knicks is enough of a jab at Jackson without having to do this.