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LeBron Said His 4th Quarter Explosion Was Sparked By A Cavs Front Office Member’s Taunt

One thing that has been almost universally agreed upon by NBA players this season is that the energy level in the empty arenas has been a difficult adjustment. Whether it’s the adoration of the home crowd or the jeers of an opposing one, players feed off of the atmosphere in a packed arena and are finding it a bit more difficult to get into the same headspace in empty or sparsely populated buildings.

A few teams are allowing small numbers of fans in the arena, while others allow team staff and family members in to provide something other than the music and piped in noises. On Monday night in Cleveland, LeBron James seemed to relish the opportunity to be back home playing the Cavs in front of the smattering of fans allowed in the building, as he went off for 46 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, outscoring Cleveland by himself in the final period to lift the Lakers to a comeback win.

At the end of the third quarter, James missed a buzzer-beater and turned to the sideline where some Cavs staff were seated and, as he said, found that added motivation he needed in the form of a Cavs front office member — who he refused to expose as the culprit by name — who was “too excited” about his miss.

It is a very Jordan-esque move from LeBron, who took personally the joy someone from the Cavs front office found in his end of quarter failure, and proceeded to rip the hearts out of the Cavs team in the fourth quarter. While he won’t name the person, it’s very funny to imagine this being GM Koby Altman — one would assume it’s someone LeBron remembers from his time in Cleveland — who now must explain to his team why he became Spike Lee to LeBron’s Reggie Miller in this game.

This can also be a lesson for other team staffers who are near the court for these games in otherwise quiet arenas, that your commentary can and will make its way to the court, and be careful who you let hear that.