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Report: Dion Waiters accused Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson of playing “buddy ball.”

Nov 28, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

We knew that a couple of weeks ago after another ugly loss (29 points to the Timberwolves), the Cavaliers had a team meeting and in it things got a little tense — shouting, but not fisticuffs.

Not long after, Dion Waiters lost his starting spot to Matthew Dellavedova, which made sense as Waiters is shooting 39.9 percent this season and since he doesn’t bring much defense he needs to knock down shots. Then came the reports the Cavaliers are shopping Waiters around (and what they want in return is laughable).

Now comes a report of what happened in that team meeting that sort of ties everything together, via Chris Broussard at ESPN.

Irving called the meeting after the game, and every player spoke. When Waiters was given the floor, he criticized Thompson and Irving, accusing them of playing “buddy ball” and often refusing to pass to him. Thompson took umbrage with Waiters’ words and went back at him verbally. The two confronted each other, but teammates intervened before it could escalate into a fight.

However, Waiters and Irving are not close. Waiters believes the Cavaliers have a double standard when it comes to Irving, sources said. Waiters feels that while Irving is allowed to get away with loafing defensively, making turnovers and taking bad shots, he is taken out of games for such things. Waiters has shared his views with Brown and Grant.

News flash Dion: There is a double standard. On every team. The face of the franchise is treated differently, it’s a tradition that runs from George Mikan through Michael Jordan all the way to LeBron James. The team’s biggest star gets more leeway. You are not the face of the franchise Waiters, Irving is.

Irving is the guy the Cavaliers are building around. Tristan Thompson may not live up to all the hype but he looks like a solid rotation player. Waiters looks like a gunner who wants to create his own shot but isn’t efficient doing it – 40 percent of his offensive opportunities  this season come as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll but he shoots just 36.2 percent (stats via Synergy Sports).

What to take away from all this: Cleveland is going to move Waiters. Maybe sooner rather than later, but right now the offers that are going to come in are lowball ones, Cleveland has to be patient and get some leverage before making a move.

  1. nawlinsmitty - Nov 29, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Two problems here. One, Cavs will never win with the present ownership. Two, one and dones leave college before learning how to play the game. The problem is magnified when you hand over the reins of the team to a one and done point guard. You’re asking for trouble.

    • dinofrank60 - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      Oh no! One and dones are great for the game; that’s what people say.

      The NBA is better for having one and dones. 18-19 year olds have all that talent and energy; they will someday learn to play “the right way”. Hopefully.

      Better they learn to spend eight years learning to play and getting paid that spending three years learning to play for free.

      If you stay in school three or four years, you’re no good. You should be ready for the NBA no later than your soph year.

      You’re insulting the intelligence of your fan base, if you don’t come out early. They are only thinking of your best interests! Take their advice!

  2. unxpexted1 - Nov 29, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Kyrie is a dynamic player…but i’ve watched him 3 games this year and he doesn’t quite seem to have the IQ that you’d want from a PG. He takes a lot of bad and highly contested shots that he doesn’t make, and doesn’t seem to pass it often until he gets in trouble. I like Kyrie and think the kid has game but it seems like he has some maturing to do on the court.

  3. MyTeamsAllStink - Nov 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    And the Cavs really think Lebron is coming back next year.Irving will bolt form them too once his contract is up.Dan Gilbert deserves everything he gets.Worst owner in the NBA.

  4. ronp2 - Nov 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Dion “The Blackhole” Waiters is too worried about his numbers rather than the number of wins he can help his team to. As a Cavs fan and season ticket holder, I see it firsthand on a nightly basis. There isn’t a shot he doesn’t like or won’t take, no matter the situation. He either plays no defense or not enough defense, his shooting percentage sucks and he’s the most sullen dude ever. I will admit that if he were coming off the bench regularly that’d be a better fit for him, but he’s not as great as he continues to tell himself.
    The bigger issue on this team is Mike Brown and his zero dimensional offense, his baffling rotations, his creativity, and no flexibility whatsoever.

    • JHathwell - Nov 29, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Exactly. Waiters is on the fast track to starring in Turkey or Russia. Typical arrogant scorer type who is used to dominating at lower levels and can’t deal with the fact that he’s in over his head at this level.

  5. drago2012 - Nov 29, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Someone once Refered to Cleveland as an “abortion on the lake” , so true then and so true now!!

  6. kyleb313 - Nov 29, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    John Wall > Kyrie Irving

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