“You know, any time LeBron gets touched, Mike runs out there like LeBron got shot or something. Calm down Mike. It’s not that serious. We’re not trying to take him out. It’s all within the confines of the game. I don’t see how coaches should be running out on the court like that anyway. Isn’t there a coach’s box? Since we’re talking about the confines of the league rules, he shouldn’t be out of the box.”
If you go out and try to foul him lightly, he’s gonna score the basketball. There was nothing malicious. Actually I apologized to LeBron James. I didn’t mean to hurt him. It’s not one of those type of things. It’s one of those things, I’ve been instructed to give him hard fouls so he’s not to get highlight dunks in the half-court, so I’ve got to do what my coaching staff tells me to do if I’m gonna stay out there on the court.” – the Wizards’ Brendan Haywood, just-doing-his-job, as quoted by DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg.
Much as I love Washington refusing to allow easy layups, can you imagine the shitstorm if James had broken a wrist or fractured a kneecap on such a play? Mike Brown’s manner of protest might be against the rules, but how far do you suppose the Cavs go in these playoffs without LeBron? Sort of ordering his players to submarine Gilbert Arenas, Brown has to do everything possible to protect James, otherwise his job status is no more secure than Haywood’s.