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Report: Luol Deng shocked at mess that is the Cavaliers

Feb 2, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng AP

When Luol Deng was traded from the Bulls to Cleveland, he was coming from the only team he had known in his nine-plus NBA seasons. His Chicago teams, especially under head coach Tom Thibodeau in recent years, have been the epitome of professionalism in pursuing winning above all else.

The Cavaliers, apparently, are the complete opposite.

Deng reportedly is shocked at some of the goings on in his new surroundings, the particulars of which are detailed by Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News:

As Deng recently told one close friend, “the stuff going on in practice would never be tolerated by the coaching staff or the front office back in Chicago. It’s a mess.”

Deng was brought in to help clean it up when he arrived in a deal for Andrew Bynum on Jan. 7. But since then, he’s seen players get thrown out of practice, take off their uniform tops at halftime and threaten not to play, mouth off to Brown and generally act like spoiled brats. …

There is no accountability, as Dion Waiters found out when he was kicked out of practice last week but still got his usual minutes against the Knicks.

Mike Brown may have done an adequate job when he had LeBron James on the roster during his first stint in Cleveland, but his personality is geared toward basketball more than it is charismatic leadership or taking on the role of a disciplinarian.

When things start to go bad on one of Brown’s team, they snowball to a level that gets out of control extremely quickly — which is exactly what happened when he was relieved of his duties as coach of the Lakers just five games into last season.

There are real problems with personalities in the Cavaliers locker room — Waiters is immature, and Irving lacks the level of star power to command enough respect. The accountability needs to come from the top, and it doesn’t seem like Brown or GM Chris Grant are able to get the players on the same page.

The good news for Deng is that he’s an unrestricted free agent once this season is finished. The Cavaliers, however, will be stuck with this mess moving forward unless the required changes are made, which seemingly need to take place at multiple levels of the organization.

  1. xli2006 - Feb 2, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Kyrie and Deng are as good as gone.

  2. kwjsb - Feb 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    The Browns have the 3 Stooges, The Cav’s are led by Abbott and Costello

  3. mistermaxxx08 - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    stevie wonder could see they stink and they got an arrogant owner who ain’t been the same since Lebron James left and stuck with a coach who while decent, ain’t the one to turn the culture of basketball around there. the cavs will stay seeing ping pong balls

  4. chicagosports2014 - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    Lol Cleveland should’ve gave Luo a contract extension, now he gonna bolt and you get nothing in return.

    • mikeinthevine - Feb 3, 2014 at 4:06 AM

      Since they didn’t give up anything to get him, what does that matter?

      • fanofevilempire - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        as soon as they hired a coach they previously fired and who the lakers fired you know it was bad.

        Deng may just take his talents to new team.

  5. rsolinski - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    It might be time to just blow it up….even with Deng the losses are getting terrible to watch….there are no playoffs in sight…..get rid of Brown, Grant and every malcontent player for whatever you can get for them…we are headed for the lottery but with the current management and recent history it means so little…keep Kyrie, Verajao, Thompson, Delladova , Deng and Zeller (and I guess Bennett) but send the rest packing…right now. Mike Brown has no concept of how to run an offense to score the ball..not here…not in LA and the NBA is all about scoring (efficiently, not just guards gone wild)…you score a bunch and hope to play enough D to win…Keep an eye on Kyrie tho…no team has won a championship with a high scoring point guard in the last 10 years..look at the Thunder doing much better without Westbrick…sad to is time to blow it up…..

  6. spursareold - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Waiters is in a running contest for idiot of the year with his agent. Many times, potential high draft picks won’t work out, and that’s pretty much accepted now. His agent shut him down to the point where he wouldn’t even do interviews or a physical. That’s either idiotic, because teams need to at least have a feel for who you are, or sheer genius to hide his toxic personality.

  7. taus831 - Feb 3, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Don’t Worry The New NBA Commissioner will give the Cavs or Lakers the 1st pick regardless of their W/L record. It’s been or being fixed as we speak.

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