Quotes in Luol Deng-based report paint ugly picture in Cleveland

While the spotlight of speculation continues to shine brightly on the Cleveland Cavaliers, small forward Luol Deng is the subject of a column in the New York Daily News that paints an even worse picture for the scene in Independence.

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. Brown isn’t getting much help from GM Chris Grant, who is expected to be fired at season’s end because of the losing and problems in the locker room. […]

Kyrie Irving is close to firing his agent, Jeff Wechsler, according to a league source. We hear part of the reason Irving is seeking a new rep is that he intends on leaving the Cavs, while Wechsler wants him to stay. As we reported at the start of the season, Irving wants to come back home to the New York area — he’s from West Orange, N.J. — and play for the Knicks. Lord knows they could use an All-Star talent at point guard, and Irving will be headed for his first starting assignment in an All-Star game in a couple of weeks.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Deng said, the wake of his trade from Chicago to Cleveland, that he was leaving one great organization for another. If these quotes are true, while not said directly to the author of the column, they show what may be going on behind the scenes. This is the first anyone has reported anything regarding players getting kicked out of practice.

Two notes worth pointing out: It was the New York Daily News that, earlier this year, attempted to discuss a path that ultimately ends with Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving ending up in a New York Knicks jersey. Also, these quotes provide a stark contrast to those which will hit Jason Lloyd’s Sunday-morning column.

“I don’t get the vibe that anyone has given up on Coach, I just think we’re not playing as a unit,” said Deng. “Cleveland is going to win. I really believe that. I’m not surprised they went to the Finals before. It’s going to happen again.”

  • Robbie

    We’re just circling the toilet bowl now.

  • Wow

    And I thought the Browns were a mess. Yikes.

  • Lyon25

    Cleveland’s teams may blow, but at least they do it spectacularly.

  • cleveland_endures

    This all may be true, but its amazing (must be their arrogant NY mindset) that every unhappy athlete in every city wants to play for the Knicks. The NY media was 100% sure LeBron wanted to play there, but, surprise, he didn’t. Irving may well leave, and he may go to New York, but it annoys me how they manage to create a “coming to New York!” rumor for so many athletes.

    Which, in all fairness, is probably minor considering the entire franchise is a dumpster fire. Which, shocker, is what happens with an incompetent GM and a coach players don’t respect because he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  • woofersus

    Articles like this shouldn’t get spread around the internet. There may be some dysfunction, and there may even be a grain of truth in what is described here, but they lose credibility due to the fact that there’s no sources (“so-and-so told an undisclosed friend” is the stuff of tabloids, not to mention it’s the only quote in the entire article so Deng was clearly never interviewed) and they obviously were trying to weave a very unlikely narrative tying Irving to the Knicks.

    The Cavs have issues, but this article tells us nothing about them. This is just click bait for Knicks fans.

  • jimal

    the most illogical argument about new york being the #1 location for endorsements is a joke. that is why lebron didnt go there. doesnt matter where you play as long as you win championships.

    take a look (from forbes)
    Endorsements: $8.5 M

    Endorsements: $42 M

    Endorsements: $14 M

    Endorsements: $4 M

    dwight howard
    Endorsements: $7 M
    Endorsements: $34 M

  • jimal

    if kyrie leaves for the sole purpose of playing in new york/endorsements, he will quickly learn hes no better than another carmelo.

  • Harv 21

    “This all may be true, but its amazing (must be their arrogant NY
    mindset) that every unhappy athlete in every city wants to play for the

    Every year we hear the same, those writers projecting their Knick fantasies on whatever player they want. Hey NY, here you go: I’ve been to MSG and it’s not a “cathedral.” It’s closer to a dump.

  • Harv 21

    There’s only one dion player who I picture taking dion off his jersey and threatening not to dion play.

  • CBI

    I love this. Carmelo can’t get out of New York fast enough and the media is already lineing up the next batch of superstars who “want” to play for the Knicks.

  • Lunch

    Here toilet bowl, here’s another toilet rumor to chew on.


  • TheCavsNeedJasonBourne

    If these comments are true, it shows how dysfunctional of a franchise this is, top to bottom. These are very telling about what was in place with Scott and not holding high standards, or Brown allowing the players to do whatever the hell they want to do.

  • saggy

    at least you can smell the crap for free in a dump.

  • Craig Miller

    I agree there should be sources, but this doesn’t surprise me when you see the lack of improvement and the attitude from the bench during a game. Brown was a hot mess when he was here the last time, the Cavs showed their narrow-mindedness and stupidity bringing him back. The only thing his coaching did the last time was squander the LeBron era.

  • Kyrie is from New Jersey, though, so there’d be the homecoming angle that’s not there w/ Carmelo.

  • Toddyus

    Yeah, but when you play in NY, you get to fly in and out of LaGuardia…

  • RGB

    The Cavs practice?