In an article that serves as an oral history for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2010-11 season, former Cavs guard Daniel Gibson discussed a bizarre phone call made by LeBron James that tested their friendship.
That Cavaliers team lost 26 consecutive games at one point, and Gibson became disillusioned with then-teammate Mo Williams.
“I don’t even know if Mo knows this,” Gibson said. “There was some weird, outside-of-basketball stuff going on. There was a point in that season when I went out one night, I went to the club. I got on a microphone and I’m a little drunk saying, ‘People don’t want to play here, we don’t care. The people from here who want to be here, we’ll keep playing and doing our thing.’
“Someone records this. I don’t know if they gave it to Rich Paul or someone. It gets back to ‘Bron. ‘Bron thought I was talking about him. So he hit me from this unknown number. ‘I thought we was brothers.’ I’m like, ‘Bro, listen. I, Daniel ‘Booby’ Gibson, wouldn’t exist without LeBron. I wouldn’t disrespect you that way.’ Mo was a brother and a mentor and somebody I still love to this day. But just being honest, at that moment in our relationship…”
James left in free agency after the previous season to play for the Miami Heat and went through his own bumpy patches due to his unceremonious exit from the Cavaliers.
However, James eventually led the Heat to the Eastern Conference title, a far cry from the Cavaliers’ 19-63 record that season.
One of the reasons why Gibson was upset with Williams was due to his behavior that season, which seemed to indicate that Williams wanted to be traded. Another was the seemingly slow rehabilitation of Williams from injuries.
Gibson’s seven seasons in the NBA were all with the Cavaliers, with his tenure ending after the 2012-13 campaign. That meant that he wasn’t a part of James’ redemption after the superstar returned to the Cavs in 2014 and led them to the franchise’s only NBA title two years later.