|Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, top, gets a rebound against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)|
LeBron James doesn't back off his 'karma' tweet
CLEVELAND—LeBron James stood by his tweet -- sort of.
One day after tweaking Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers on Twitter during the most lopsided loss in his former team's history, James explained he wasn't making fun of the Cavs and even denied the pointed message was his.
As the Cavs were absorbing a 55-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, James fired off on his KingJames account: "Crazy. Karma is a b----.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"
The message seemed to be aimed directly at Gilbert, who after James announced he was leaving for Miami as a free agent in July, wrote a scathing letter to Cleveland fans questioning the two-time MVP's character and predicting he would take Cleveland's curse with him "down south. ... James will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma."
But before Miami's game on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, James awkwardly attempted to explain his intent.
"It was just how I was feeling at the time," he said. "It wasn't even a comment from me, it was someone who sent it to me and I sent it out. It wasn't towards that team. It definitely wasn't a good showing by that team last night, I know they wish they would have played better, but nothing towards them."
James never once mentioned the Cavs by name.
Cleveland's 112-57 loss to the Lakers was the club's 11th straight and the Cavs' most lopsided since joining the league in 1970.
After the game, Cavs guard Mo Williams tweeted: "embarrassing, I feel like I can't even show my face in Cleve."
James and Gilbert have been at odds since the summer, when the superstar decided to join forces in Miami with fellow superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. In an interview with The Associated Press in the hours after James' announcement during an hour-long TV special, Gilbert accused James of quitting in the playoffs the past two seasons.
And while both insist they've moved on, James' tweet seems to show he has lingering bitterness toward Gilbert.
However, James denied that was the case.
"It wasn't no hit at that franchise, no hit at that team, especially those players at all," he said. "I've moved on and hopefully that organization is continuing to move on, but I'm happy where I am as a Miami Heat player."
James' social network message was poorly received in Cleveland, where fans still feel betrayed by him spurning them. It's bad enough the Cavs are struggling, but James decided to kick them when they're down.
"Everyone looks into everything that I say," he said. "Everybody looked too far into it."
James said he's used the word karma throughout his life.
"Where I come from and my background I've always kind of used that to not take things for granted ever," he said. "We all know how strong of a word it is."
The Akron native was rudely received by Cleveland fans when he returned on Dec. 2. The Heat demolished the Cavs 118-90 that night, and both teams haven't been the same since. Miami has gone 19-1 after their visit to Cleveland, while the Cavs are 1-20.
Little has gone right this season for Cleveland, which got off to a 7-9 start. But the losses have been mounting along with several key injuries. Last week, hustling center Anderson Varejao suffered a season-ending injury when he tore an ankle tendon during a non-contact running drill in practice.
But the Cavs, who had the league's best regular-season record the past two seasons with James, were playing poorly before Varejao went down. Now, they can only hope they've reached rock bottom.
In their epic loss to the Lakers, the Cavs played three rookies for long stretches and established a new team record for fewest points. They also sustained their worst loss since getting beat 141-87 in the 11th game of their inaugural 1970 season.
The Lakers nearly doubled Cleveland's point total. It was so bad that the Lakers could have gone scoreless in the second half -- and still forced overtime! The blowout was especially disturbing to first-year Cleveland coach Byron Scott, a proud member of the Lakers' "Showtime" teams.
"I thought that was embarrassing," Scott said. "I told them at halftime, 'You look scared. You look scared to death.' That was my take on it, as simple as that."
Cavs forward Antawn Jamison was at a loss for words.
"In 13 years, I can honestly say I ain't ever felt that embarrassed to be on the basketball court," he said. "There's nothing else you can really say."
AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report.