Cavaliers alter hotel plans to avoid Heat
A quirk in the schedule has both the Cavs and Heat in Los Angeles for an extended period this week. But the Cavs have changed their standard travel plans in L.A. to prevent staying in the same hotel as the Heat, team officials said.
The defending champs are trying to three-peat. The Heat Index.
The Heat and Cavs usually stay at a landmark hotel in Beverly Hills, one frequented by visiting NBA teams. But the Cavs will be staying at another five-star hotel just a few blocks down the street this time.
Both teams are on long West Coast trips and both are scheduled to arrive in L.A. late Sunday. The Cavs, who play the Lakers on Tuesday night, are scheduled to remain in Southern California until Thursday. The Heat will be in town until Wednesday night when they play the Clippers.
In the wake of LeBron James leaving the Cavs for Miami, the two franchises exist in an undeniable tension. It was perhaps heightened by what happened earlier this season, with the Heat's Dec. 2 victory over the Cavs in an emotional event in Cleveland turned the fortunes of both teams. The Heat have been the best team in the NBA since with just one loss in 20 games; the Cavs have been the worst team in the league since with one win in 20 games.
According to team officials, the Cavs made a decision to attempt to avoid staying at the same hotel as any other NBA team because of the strain it puts on the staffs. NBA teams require the use of various meeting rooms, suites and laundry facilities that would tax any hotel. However, the hotel in question frequently hosts multiple NBA teams at once.
The Cavs and Heat routinely run into each other at this time of year on the West Coast. The Heat are out of Miami because of the annual visit by the circus and the Cavs leave Cleveland because of the annual visit for the Disney ice show.
During this week last year both the Heat and Cavs were in San Francisco at the same time, though staying at different hotels. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James spent some time with each other doing some shopping at a local mall during the overlap.
Brian Windhorst covers the NBA for ESPN.com.