PORTLAND, Ore. — Multiple police cars surrounded the locker room of the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday after some of its players got into a scuffle with LeBron James and some members of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the closing minutes of Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
After the game, James called the incident “playground stuff” and chalked it up to teammates goofing around. He confirmed Sunday that he had a role in the aftermath of the incident: He put together a 45-second video on Instagram, his preferred social media platform, of the incident, which shows teammates yelling at players on the Blazers bench, some grabbing hands, including Blazers’ guard CJ McCollum and Cavs’ guard LeBron James.
James, who scored 27 points in Game 2, was photographed with his hand wrapped in tape after the incident.
After Sunday’s 108-103 loss, Cavaliers’ guard Deron Williams said at the Blazers’ locker room, “We ain’t going nowhere. That’s how the jokes go down.”
In a video on his Instagram account, James was seen walking onto the court and high-fiving one of his teammates, and Cavs’ forward Cedi Osman called it “a simple skirmish,” despite James saying, “I’m going to defend my home.”
Before Game 2 on Saturday, the Cavs invited reporters to watch James’ children, LeBron Jr. and Bryce, play on their basketball courts. James said he tries to set an example for his children by being a father.
The problem was, Cleveland players on Saturday wouldn’t allow the two courts to be the setting for the cameras and reporters.
According to the police reports that were released on Sunday, officers first responded to practice after two alleged fights broke out in the gymnasium. An officer responded to a fight that broke out with about 15 people in the gymnasium.
Police officer Kelsey Wisotzki wrote in a police report that after the first fight, James’s daughter, Bryce, ran up and asked, “Daddy, why are you making us fight?”
James then returned and challenged the girl to a fight. The report said that Bryce then approached James’ 7-year-old son, LeBron Jr., and started fighting with him. Other players then jumped in, the report said. Wisotzki also wrote that James’ kids had a kickball field cleared out of the gymnasium by staff.
On Sunday, Game 2 was different. After the game, with media members surrounding the Blazers’ locker room, the altercation reportedly involved about five Cavaliers and five Blazers players, according to police reports. Police officers said the two sideline benches had about three to four players from each team fighting.
NBA.com’s Kevin Pelton confirmed the scuffle happened and described it as a “playground-type skirmish” that was “primarily verbal” and did not involve a physical altercation.
The Cavaliers announced after the game that players James, Kevin Love, Jose Calderon, Jeff Green and Larry Nance Jr. have been fined $30,000 apiece by the NBA for their actions after the game. On Twitter, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters in Portland that Derrick Rose, who is recovering from knee surgery, had “no business” on the court at that point.