Ever since LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, he has been trying to bring elements of the Miami Heat culture with him to the Cavs.
"LeBron has been trying to do in Cleveland what Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were doing," a source described it. "Execute a hostile takeover of the party."
This is what was at the core of James' issues with David Blatt and his passive-aggressive behavior towards Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.
Last offseason, James invited all of the Cavaliers down to Miami for workouts.
"Then there were all these guys responding right away with 'I'm in,' 'I'll be there,' 'Count me in,' 'I'm already here,' " J.R. Smith said. "I mean right down the line. Kevin [Love], Ky[rie Irving], Delly (Matthew Dellavedova), JJ [James Jones], Shump [Iman Shumpert]. All of them, right away."
"You have to understand, it is so much different in Miami than everywhere else," said Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who played seven years with James in Cleveland before joining him in Miami for a season.
"Cleveland is part of the mainstream of the NBA. In Miami, there is one man in charge and that is Pat Riley and everyone falls into line from there. It's very simplified for you. There is one way to do things, his way."
James' childhood left him prone to obsessing over routines and the approach from Riley and Erik Spoelstra resonated.
James was taken aback by the lack of professionalism he found when returning to Cleveland. Players arrived late, left early and didn't dress appropriately. Blatt surprised James by how lax he was at times despite having the reputation as a tyrant in Europe.
"It's a big job to change a team's culture," Tyronn Lue said. "You have to hold everyone accountable. You have to make sure everyone is on board. And to change culture, you can't treat everyone the same way. Everyone is not going to be treated the same way. They don't take it the same way and you just got to know how to deal with certain people, deal with people on a day-to-day basis and deal with them differently. I just think, when you win, it's easy to change the culture. When you're on losing teams or losing situations, it's a lot harder. I think when you can preach winning and they see the winning, I think it makes it a lot easier to change the culture."