During Saturday'smatchup against the Clippers, Tyronn Lue decided it was in the best interest of the team to rest his star players. So LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all sat, and people were not happy.
The media was upset because another prime-time matchup — Cavs vs. Clippers — was diluted. Even the NBA wasn't pleased, as the league called Cavs GM David Griffin shortly after the start of the game.
When did the league call? Griff: "Seven minutes after it was announced. Yeah, they were not happy."— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) March 19, 2017
Well, the Big Three were back in action Sunday as they combined to score101 of the Cavs' 125 points against the Lakers. When asked afterwardabout the outrage from the day before, Lue defended his decision.
"I mean, it’s stupid,” Lue said Sunday before the game, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “Kyrie didn’t come back the game before, knee soreness.Kevin just had his first game back, we needed two days in between each game. It’s OK, though, whatever. It’s stupid.”
James defended his coach when he was asked about the whole ordeal after the team's win Sunday.
"I don't think the NBA can do anything about it," James said. "At the end of the day, it sucks at times where certain guys have to rest, but certain guys need rest.
"And it's a long, strenuous season and the NBA does a great job of putting the schedule together as best as they can. You're going to have back-to-backs. You're going to have certain games where certain things fall on certain nights, but a coach's job is to figure out a way for their team to compete for a championship, not compete for a game."
James also added he wanted to play, but listened to his coach because he knows best. Irving on the other hand, said he wanted the rest, although he understands why everyone is mad.
"We're not here to complain about it, but honestly playing basketball six games in eight daysis a lot," Irving said, although technically they played six games in nine days. "But we prepare our bodies for it and I don't have any ill will toward the NBA being disappointed, or the fans because I totally understand. And then from the flip side of being a professional athlete, I understand my point of view and it's going to outweigh anything."
Lue was a bit more unapologetic with his words, but the message is the same throughout. The Cavs don't regret their decision to rest, and they'll do what they feel is right in the future as well.