According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Cavs’ superstar LeBron James and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert have contrasting views over the team payroll, hurting their relationship.
The Cavaliers’ recent struggles, who have now lost six of their last eight games after a loss to the sub-.500 Kings on Wednesday night, have made the tension worse according to the article. That puts the face of the franchise and the guy who spends all of the money at odds.
LeBron’s unhappiness has been apparent during Cleveland’s recent slide, saying on Monday after the team’s loss to New Orleans that the squad needed “a [expletive] playmaker.” With Gilbert, seemingly, unwilling to spend, it would seem that “The King” is rather upset.
Here’s a piece of Windhorst’s article:
When James was considering a return to the Cavs in 2014, he pressed Gilbert on if he’d be willing to spend unconditionally on talent, regardless of the luxury-tax cost, sources said. Over the course of several meetings with James and his representatives, Gilbert agreed, and James subsequently signed with the team.
Gilbert paid $82 million in salaries and $7 million in luxury tax in 2014-15, when the Cavs reached the NBA Finals. Last season, when Cleveland won the championship, Gilbert paid $107 million in salaries and $54 million in luxury tax.
Currently, the Cavs (30-14) are committed to $127.6 million in salaries and $27 million in luxury taxes for this season. They have spent more than any other NBA team over the three-year span.
James, however, has grown frustrated. He perceives that the Cavaliers have slowed new spending after winning their first championship, sources said.