Luol Deng says he never said anything bad about the Cleveland Cavaliers organization or his teammates.
Reports surfaced over the weekend that Luol Deng was unhappy in Cleveland, saying the Cavaliers were "a mess." But the former Chicago Bulls workhorse refutes the report and wants to clear his name.
"I don't say anything outside of this locker room to my friends, and second of all, none of my friends would ever talk to reporters," Deng told Cleveland.com. "I never had anything like that in my whole career, I was pretty upset that I'm dragged into it. But obviously, if you read the story, the stuff in there, it's all like here and there and all that stuff, and just threw my name in. That's why it's upsetting me, that I'm even part of it."
The initial story came from New York Daily News scribe Mitch Lawrence. He's the same reporter who said Derrick Rose was unhappy with the Bulls going into rebuild mode, is confident that Carlos Boozer will be amnestied next summer, and essentially broke that Chicago planned to trade Luol Deng before the deadline a month before it actually happened, even as the local Chicago media furiously dismissed it as nothing but a rumor.
Still, Deng is defiant in stating he never said anything disparaging against the Cavs organization or his teammates.
"Since I've been in Cleveland, I've had my brother and my best friend (with me), and they both don't talk to the media. So I don't know where it's coming from," he said. "I don't even know who the writer is, to be honest. If they're going to do something like that, I wish they'd say the name of whoever my friend is, just say my friend's name so I can go back and confront my friend. I just don't like that they said 'one of Luol's close friends.' They don't know my close friends. I don't even know my close friends. It really upset me and it really bothered me. That's not what I bring. I've never had anything like that."