LeBron James was 'protecting' coach on perceived shove

All eyes were on the Cleveland Cavaliers with the team reeling and LeBron James returning after an eight-game absence due to knee and back problems.

That level of scrutiny only heightened when James appeared to push Cavaliers coach David Blatt to the side during an argument with an official.

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But while those on the outside took it as a violent shove from James to Blatt, player and coach had a different take on the event, as ESPN.com noted. And, in all honesty, James moved Blatt away from the official. At his size, a shove from James to Blatt would hardly go down as smoothly as last night did.

Of course, James was asked about the incident, and he explained it in great detail.

"I got called for an offensive foul, and they said I hooked one of the Morris twins on a post-up when he grabbed me," James said after the game. "It was a referee that was away from the play [who called it]. I was talking to Eric Lewis, one of the other refs, and Coach Blatt was getting a little fired up about it, too, and he was on his way to a technical. So I just got him up out of the way before he got a T. So, just protecting my coach."

Blatt agreed that he began to get heated in a conversation with his official. He believed James was looking out for him.

"He was trying to keep me from getting a technical foul," Blatt said.

Blatt went on to explain why he became so upset, and how his reaction to the official led James to move him out of the official's face.

"Look, it's a physical game, and no disrespect to the officials, but I just thought my guy was taking a lot of hard hits and I didn't like it and I was expressing my opinion, and LeBron stepped in to I guess protect me in that situation, which is more than fine," Blatt elaborated. "But what I really wanted to do was protect him."