LeBron James never goes "on tilt." He doesn't lose his cool. No matter how mad he may get at a foul, an altercation, a kerfuffle, he never really gets into it. He knows he has to stay level-headed, that he can't afford technical fouls or anything else, that he has to stay above it. So to see him essentially melt down in the Cavaliers' 108-97 loss to the Warriors in Game 4 on Friday to go down 3-1 was shocking.
James got into it with Draymond Green, who has been chirping at James (and every other living being in the NBA) since his rookie season.
The whole sequence has both players doing a lot of stuff that wasn't necessary, and James steps over Green when, even if he was trying to get to the ball, he didn't need to do. However, if you're wondering why James was mad, well ...
In real-time, Green's hit below the belt doesn't look intentional. Neither did the kick to Steven Adams. Or any of the other seemingly game-by-game plays from Green that have elicited controversy. The reverse angle is even worse:
"I felt him step over me, and you're not just going to step over me like that," Green said after the game. "There's many routes you could take. Don't just step over me like that. So we had our words, and it is what it is. I don't care who you are, I'm not going to back down from you."
James at first declined to comment on the hit to his man parts, but when a reporter followed up, James said he doesn't know what "should" happen in regards to any league punishment from them, and that he doesn't "expect" any punishment for Green.
"I'm all about going out there and leaving it all out on the floor, but when it gets to be a little more than it should be, that's what caused me to have words with him," James said.
It's shocking to see James getting that heated and reacting that way. That's not how he acts, and it shows his frustration level as he faces a 3-1 deficit, a third consecutive Finals loss and a 2-5 overall Finals record, along with another year where he fails to bring a ring to Cleveland.