Cavs Received A Very Surprising Tongue Lashing From An Unlikely Source After Game 2 Loss
Prior to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 30-point drubbing of the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, it was the defending champs’ turn to unleash a beating to the Cavs in Game 2 at Oracle Arena.
The most recent road loss was so humiliating and depressing for every Cleveland supporter, but the night did not end without one more shot from another Oakland guy. But this time around, that hometown fellow was on the Cavaliers’ side, assistant coach Phil Handy.
In an article by Chris Haynes for Cleveland.com, it was revealed that the usually low profile Handy handed out (no pun intended) a tongue-lashing to the players for their poor (an understatement) performance that night.
Assistant coach Phil Handy, who happens to be a native of Oakland, erupted with a profanity-laced tirade, questioning their toughness and the lack of fight they displayed on such a grand stage. The players were shocked. Handy is relatively quiet. In Handy’s outburst that lasted a few minutes, his overall message was clear and to the point: You guys were punked and you did absolutely nothing about it.
Veteran forward Richard Jefferson spoke about how the team needed that outburst which came out nowhere.
He’s an Oakland boy, and we went out to Oakland and got our ass whipped twice. He was pissed off. He has to show up there every day. It means a lot to him, it means a lot to us, and for us to go out there and play the way we did was embarrassing. Look, we personally feel that no team should handle us the way they did the last two games, and it was disrespectful.
It definitely wasn’t normal [for Handy to call them out], but sometimes people step out of their norm and say what they feel needs to be said, and it was definitely something that needed to be said.
The message worked, for all intents and purposes, and the Cavaliers have now regained their confidence in a huge way. The recent victory could not be attributed to that post game pep-talk as it was obviously a combination of a number of kickstarters, from the players’ aggressiveness to the Quicken Loans Arena crowd.
But it did come as an early slap in the face for the Cavs. One that they needed before they left Oakland that time.