Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Friday he understands why there is speculation LeBron James is leaving Cleveland based on James' performance in the recently completed Eastern Conference semifinal series loss to Boston.
"We are amazed at the demeanor of LeBron in the last two home games he played," Jackson told 710 ESPN radio in Los Angeles. "I mean, we definitely saw a different guy out there on the court in Game 2 in Cleveland and Game 5 in Cleveland than we've seen from him in two or three years."
Both games were losses by the Cavaliers and James didn't perform to his usually lofty standards. In Game 2, a 104-86 loss to the Celtics, James was held to 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and also had four turnovers. In Game 5, a 120-88 loss to Boston, James made only three of 14 shots from the field -- he didn't make his first shot until the third quarter -- and was held to 15 points.
"I understand how it leads to speculation that he's going somewhere else because it feels like ... if your mind's not there, your heart may not be into it," Jackson said.
In Game 6 on Thursday, when the Celtics closed out the Cavaliers, 94-84, to win the series, James had a triple-double (27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists) but also had nine turnovers.