By: Monte Perez
The Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt. The Cavaliers have named assistant, Tyronn Lue their new head coach. After the Cavs lost to The Golden State Warriors 132-98 at Quicken Loans Arena, I tweeted, “It is time for Blatt to go, the team is not playing hard or buying what he is selling.” I threw that out there but I was still shocked when I heard the news. My first reaction was like Tom Cruise in the movie, “Rain Man” (When Cruise’s character finds out his millionaire father leaves him nothing but rose bushes, Cruise loses it.)Cruise says, “Can you repeat that? Cause I can’t believe my f’ing ears.”
How do you fire a coach that went to the NBA finals in his rookie year and was in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 30-11 record?
Journalist Rachel Nichols has reported that Blatt gave his superstars preferential treatment and struggled with “in-game”decisions and plays during timeouts. Fans and the media are saying LeBron James had to be behind this firing and that he wanted Blatt out. If that is the case than I agree with James ‘decision. Now. most people will say, you can’t have a player run your franchise but let us look at a few NBA superstars of the past.
Magic Johnson got Paul Westhead fired and Pat Riley replaced him.
Michael Jordan got Doug Collins fired and Phil Jackson replaced him.
This goes on in every major sport. If you superstar doesn’t buy what the coach or manager is selling, their time running the team is numbered.
Magic had Riley, Jordan had Jackson, Larry Bird had Bill Fitch and K.C Jones, Isiah Thomas had Chuck Daly and Tim Duncan has Gregg Popovich. Who has LeBron had?
I am willing to give James the benefit of the doubt and here is why. LeBron has never played for an elite coach… ever.
In 2009, Mike Brown won the NBA’s coach of the year. He’s been fired three times since then (Twice by the Cavs and once by the Lakers). In LeBron’s last year… Cleveland won 61 games, he leaves and they go 19-63. The year before LeBron goes to Miami the Heat had a record of 47-35. With James on the team, Miami goes to 4 straight finals. Last year without LeBron, the Heat didn’t even make the playoffs and had a record of 37-45.
Make no mistake about it, the firing of Blatt was orchestrated by LeBron James. If the Cavs don’t win the NBA Championship then firing Blatt will prove to be a mistake. I understand why this was done. LeBron sees the writing on the wall with other elite teams like the Spurs and the Warriors. Those team play as one cohesive unit. The Cavs play as individuals.
I had tremendous success as a former AAU and College Basketball Coach. One thing I learned early on, you can’t demand respect you have to earn it. Blatt tried to be friends with his superstars not coach them or call them out when they made a mistake. This doesn’t work.
I trust LeBron here because he has taken three coaches to the NBA Finals. I agree with the firing of David Blatt because LeBron sees the big picture, he knows what is best for this team. If players aren’t being held accountable, all the talent in the world won’t let them grow and thrive. It will be interesting to see the short term and long term effects under Lue’s leadership. This is now on the Cleveland Cavaliers players to win a ring.
Here is the million dollar question… Does Lue coach the Eastern Conference All-Star team?… inquiring minds want to know.
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