LeBron James Bumps Coach Erik Spoelstra

Miami Heat forward LeBron James may have been a little upset during a timeout during his team’s November 27th game against the Dallas Mavericks.

During the third quarter of the basketball match, LeBron bumped into coach Erik Spoelstra while walking to the bench.

A complete description of the confrontation is given in detail at the CBS Sports Blog

What is particularly interesting is the expression on Coach Spoelstra’s face before and after LeBron bumps into him.

From around 0:10 to 0:17 Spoelstra is clearly not happy. But once LeBron bumps into him, his macroexpression of anger (brows drawn down and together, eyes glaring) seems to be even more pronounced.

What is also interesting to note is Spoelstra’s lack of surprise when LeBron bumps into him. This raises some questions: did he perhaps anticipate the altercation?

It is unfortunate that we don’t get to see LeBron’s face from the opposite angle. Our guess is that his expression looked similar to that of his coaches’.

A slow motion video of the altercation can be seen here.

Thanks WC for the link!

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4 responses to “LeBron James Bumps Coach Erik Spoelstra”

  1. omar says:

    Being both a fan of and participant of the game I think everyone (including those at the CBS sports blog) are reading way too much into this.

    In a high adrenaline situation like that of an intense basketball game, players are bustling in all directions at all times, especially when a time out is called. With the near-tunnel-vision like state that a player can be in when focusing on something in his field of vision, (I’d guess here Lebron was focusing on the bench to sit down or a towel/water guy) bumping into someone is just inevitable, and all you can really do is just keep moving.
    Seeing this clip just reminds me of dozens of times I’ve been in that same state of mind, moving without looking at exactly where I’m going.
    Interestingly, if you notice after Lebron bumps into him, his right arm reaches out behind him as if to catch who he bumped into or tap him on the shoulder or back apologetically, an action which I also can recall doing many times during intense play, where a more formal apology would not be possible due to the hectic nature of the environment.

    Also, in my opinion, if Lebron intended any hostility towards his coach it would be more likely that their eyes would meet, the coach would notice him coming, and he’d react with a much sharper degree of anger as opposed to the slight wincing you see after the bump, which, to me, looks more like the pain of bumping into the much larger Lebron.

  2. WC says:

    Hey Omar, how was Lebron’s “tunnel vision” here?…was that inevitable too in their “hectic environment”?


  3. Hmm…interesting. I wonder if Lebron has a tendency to bump coaches like this??

  4. omar says:

    Okay I will agree that Lebron is not being a nice guy in either of these videos. But the comments make it seem like his actions are premeditated.

    In the second clip he’s not even looking in the direction he is walking until a moment before Mike Brown is in front of him. Obviously his lack of even the slightest attempt to move out of the way is evidence of his agitated state, but that is different from claiming hostile intention.

    Actually, I would be more convinced that Mike Brown was the one who intended hostility. Lebron is clearly in his field of vision, but he makes no eye contact with him and his gaze remains fixed, as if to declare his intention not to budge.

    I’m not a fan of Lebron nor am I trying to defend him, as he could obviously be more respectful, I just think that with the high adrenaline state of mind an athlete is in and the “hectic environment” they are in, we can’t simply attempt to analyze a situation as we would pedestrians on the sidewalk.

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