LeBron James called Browns receiver Braylon Edwards “childish” for allegedly punching James’ friend early Monday morning outside of a Cleveland night club.
James said Edwards punched Edward Givens, a friend of James’ and a promoter with a Cleveland marketing firm who was working outside the club around 2:30 a.m. EDT.
“I’ve never crossed paths with Braylon before, but it seems like there’s a little jealousy going on with Braylon and me and my friends. I have no idea why,” the Cavaliers superstar said after practice. “I’ve never said anything to Braylon at all. But for him to do that is very childish. My friend is 130 pounds. Seriously. It’s like hitting one of my kids. It doesn’t make sense.”
Edwards was not available for comment Monday as the Browns regrouped following their 23-20 overtime loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. He did post a message on his Twitter account — OfficialBraylon — at 5:25 p.m., offering praise to James.
“I have no issue with LeBron,” Edwards tweeted. “I respect and admire him.”
James said he was home when the fight occurred, but got a call from Givens telling him about it at 7 a.m. Monday.
Edwards’ manager issued a statement, hoping to soothe any perceived rivalry between two of Cleveland’s biggest sports stars.
“Braylon has nothing but the highest respect for LeBron James as an athlete and person,” Hayes Grooms said.
Browns coach Eric Mangini said he has spoken with Braylon Edwards about the alleged fight.
“I know there is an incident that has been reported with Braylon Edwards, it’s something that I am aware of. It is something that I spoke with Braylon about and personal conduct is very important to me. I always want our players to put themselves in the most positive positions. This is something I will continue to gather information on.”
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported that a 28-year-old man accused Edwards of punching him in the face following an argument. The man said Edwards hit him with a closed fist. He said he suffered a black eye and cut and was treated at a hospital.
Edwards’ name did not appear in a police report. He was not arrested and there are no charges pending against him.
Edwards was not in Cleveland’s locker room during the portion open to the media.
Givens told the Plain Dealer for a story on its Web site that he was outside greeting people when Edwards approached him.
“Braylon comes up and started saying things, degrading me,” Givens said. “He said if it wasn’t for LeBron (James) or the Four Horsemen (James’ friends and business partners), I wouldn’t have what I have, nor would I be able to get girls. Everyone knows Braylon has a problem with LeBron.
“So I had to speak up for myself. The conversation started to escalate. As some of his teammates started to pull him back, he punched me. As long as I’ve known Braylon, I’ve allowed him and his friends to come into our events free of charge. Whatever jealousy he has with LeBron, he felt he needed to take it out on me.”
Edwards did not catch a pass in the loss to the Bengals. It was the first time in 62 career games Edwards did not have at least one reception.