The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

LeBron James does water-bottle challenge during blowout of Knicks

When the kids aren’t doing the “mannequin challenge” (are the kids still doing that?), they’re doing the “water bottle challenge,” which involves flipping a plastic bottle weighted with some water end over end and trying to get it to land standing up. It turns out that, when LeBron James isn’t helping destroy the New York Knicks on national television, he too is doing the water bottle challenge.

Phil Jackson says no one ‘hurt or harmed’ by his comment on James’s ‘posse’

Toward the end of ESPN’s telecast of Wednesday’s Cavaliers-Knicks game, with Cleveland holding a very comfortable lead, the camera focused on Cleveland’s bench, where James and the other starters had long since been awaiting the game’s inevitable conclusion. They weren’t waiting around idly, though, but flipping water bottles in an apparent attempt to wean some drama from the evening.

James had made an unsuccessful toss while on-court action was still unfolding at his end of the court, then Kyrie Irving had his own miss. When play headed the other way, James had the nerve to take another shot at it — this time right onto the Madison Square Garden floor.

James missed both of the attempts of his that were shown, but hey, at least he was quick to go after the bottle he tossed onto the court. He was much more accurate when he was playing basketball Wednesday, as he hit seven of 10 shots and 10 of 14 free throws while scoring 25 points in a 126-94 blowout. Two points came on a particularly nasty dunk, after which he walked into the courtside seats.

So, to recap, while he was on the court, James took a moment to wander into the stands, and while he was on the bench, he decided to toss something onto the court. It remains to be seen if Cavs management or the league itself has a word with the superstar forward and his teammates about the water-bottle high jinks, as seems likely. The NBA can’t consider this a good look, and James was tempting fate, not to mention a technical foul, by tossing something onto the floor while play was occurring.

James will not be staying at Trump hotel when Cavs visit Knicks

On the other hand, wasn’t it the Knicks’ fault for not keeping James and his teammates more interested in the actual game going on? After all, it was such a dispiriting showing by Carmelo Anthony and Co. that even Santa Claus left early.