Player meetings are about as common in the NBA as pre-game shootaround. They may not occur as frequently, but when teams are struggling on the floor and showing an overall lack of chemistry, the “player meeting” is the go-to spot to air grievances and remains an attempt to bring the locker room together.
At times, meetings can range from productive, to heated, to players speaking up to debate the underlying issues going on within the team. Some point fingers. Some point fingers at themself.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, their well-publicized player meeting from last week after a 29-point loss to Minnesota may have included all of those facets, but the only thing people are talking about is the on-going headline involving the reported fisticuffs between Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
And it looks like the drama is going away no time soon.
On Monday, Waiters denied any physical altercation took place in the meeting and that inner-team talks last week helped get, “everything off our chests that we needed to”.
“All the other rumors, man, are rumors. Don't believe it. It's not true. We talked. Everybody talked. Nobody put their hands on nobody,” Waiters said after practice, as reported by Cleveland.com.
"Everybody said how they felt. I said how I felt. I think we needed it. At the end of the day, we're grown men. I think we should be able to talk to one another and say what we feel.”
Here is the thing about player meetings: someone always talks to the press and beat guys truly are trained observers when these situations arise. Ohio.com’s Jason Lloyd probably has the best detailed break down of what transpired last week — or about as close as an assessment as you will find.
“The meeting was intense – the Cavs played terrible and lost by 29 points – but two players who were in the room both privately said some of the speculation has been overblown and it wasn’t combative, nor was Dion Waiters a target of the meeting,” Lloyd writes.
“The players weren’t very happy, but no specific player was singled out.
During this early and crazy start to the season, the Cavs hope to start feeling better starting now. Cleveland had lost five of its previous seven games since starting the season 2-2, prior to beating the Washington Wizards in overtime on Saturday.
Couple that with injuries and now the reports regarding the player meeting and it’s no wonder, Mike Brown admitted this has been the strangest, most disjointed start to a season he has experienced as a head coach.
Winning is often the cure-all to these situations. The Cavs run it back against the Wizards on Wednesday, where Cleaveland looks to make it two-straight wins and move a step further away from all of the drama.