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Frank Isola of New York Daily News responds to LeBron James calling him trash

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The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Washington Wizards in what many are deeming a candidate for ‘game of the year’ last night. The 140-135 overtime victory saw a 32-point, 17-assist performance by LeBron James and a 39-point, 19-rebound performance by Kevin Love. The main story of the night, however, was the story that broke by the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola regarding James’ reported push for Cavs’ management to trade for Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony, even if it meant giving up Love.

Following the game, coach Tyronn Lue, who spoke with the media first, said that Love isn’t going anywhere.

“Yeah, we’re going to trade him tonight” said Lue. “Come on, man. Kevin should be happy that teams want him. But he’s not going anywhere.”

James spoke with the media next, and fired some shots at Isola for the story and the timing of the story.

“It’s trash, and the guy who wrote it is trash too for writing that, especially during the game like that,” said James. “It’s always about outside noise, and that’s just outside noise for us. We’ve got to focus on what needs to be done in order for us to continue to compete for a championship. We’ve got who we’ve got. Our GM will do a great job of figuring out if we need something else, but right now, we’re in a good place.”

LeBron James was clearly upset after the game and, as stated earlier, much of the attention went away from the game and onto the story until Lue and James vehemently denied that Love was going to be traded anywhere.

Earlier toady, Isola had a chance to respond to James’ harsh comments about the story and himself. Via Frank Isola on Sirius XM NBA Radio as transcribed by Dan Feldman of NBC Sports:

I spoke to people who spoke with LeBron afterwards, as actually he was walking to the bus. And his big thing was, he thought it was like — what would be the word that I’m looking for? — like out of line that the story came out when it did, just right before tip-off, as if somehow that was purposely planned by me as a way to kind of sabotage the Cleveland Cavaliers. Which isn’t the case. I don’t have anything to do with, A, when the story is released or, I don’t think anybody is thinking, “Yeah, this will affect the Cleveland Cavaliers.” And here’s the bottom line: If they had lost last night, to blame it on some story that came out about LeBron would be as absurd as me trying to take credit for them winning last night.

The question was “a story in the New York Post.” I work for the New York Daily News. So, now I’m going to give LeBron a little bit of an out, thinking that maybe he’s thinking of my buddy there, Marc Berman of the New York Post, and not me. Either way, he was obviously pretty upset last night.

I’ll tell you what: He didn’t exactly stand there and deny that, that’s what the story is.

The one thing people have to remember, when you write stories like this, you know what the reaction isn’t going to be. The reaction isn’t going to be from Tyronn Lue, “Actually, we are looking to move Kevin Love. And right now, we actually are talking to LeBron.” And LeBron is not going to say after the game, “Of course. Where have you have guys been. Of course I’m trying to tell management. Carmelo is my buddy. Absolutely, I want them.”

Everyone is going to deny, deny, deny. And guess what? They should do that. The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t owe me anything. So, they’re not going to protect me in any way. They should be protecting Kevin Love — and they’re obviously going to protect LeBron James at all costs. I knew what the reaction was going to be from them.

When these kind of stories come out — it’s like, there’s no way you write something unless you know that it’s true. So, when you have to go on and defend something — what am I supposed to say, like what he said? You want me to sit here and start name-calling him? It’s like, what’s the point?

The idea that LeBron may not have some influence in the organization, are people being serious about that?

He said what he said, but he still was given bad information. A, he was given the wrong newspaper, number one. And then, he said, when he said “trash,” he meant “trash” for coming out when it did. It’s almost like he said, “Well, if you had written the story like on an off day, maybe I’d be OK with it. But don’t write it — don’t have the story come out right before we play a game.”

The way that Love is playing right now and how well he’s meshing with the team, it’s incredibly hard to see him going anywhere. Also, in Isola’s defense, it’s hard and nearly impossible to choose when a story comes out. He just sent to the content to his editors who published it as soon as possible, as Feldman notes in his piece on the story.

Aside from that, a trade for Anthony involving Love makes no sense for the Cavaliers. Love has finally adjusted to his role and placement within the Cavs offense and made some strides defensively. He’s also four years younger than the 32-year old Anthony.

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