ESPN and Yahoo! Sports have reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have fired head coach David Blatt in the midst of just his second season with the team.
The Cavaliers (30-11) are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference standings but were blown out by the Golden State Warriors 132-98 at home on Monday. Also according to the report by ESPN, Blatt had lost the respect of the Cavaliers’ locker room, inevitably leading to his dismissal. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Ty Lue, Blatt’s top assistant, has agreed to a multiyear deal to become the team’s new head coach.
Blatt departs Cleveland with an 83-40 overall record in less than two seasons at the helm and helped the Cavaliers to an appearance in the 2015 NBA Finals where they were defeated by the Golden State Warriors in six games.
The firing of David Blatt confirms one thing that we already know about the Cleveland Cavaliers: this is LeBron James’ team. Ever since the hiring of Blatt, it was clear that LeBron was still the leader, play-caller, and had total control over the team’s roster moves, and management. We’ve all already seen what the Cleveland Cavaliers are like without LeBron James, as the minute he departed for Miami in 2010 it ruined the Cleveland Cavaliers for not only the ensuing four seasons, but it caused incredible financial destruction to the downtown-Cleveland area, as fans were no longer attending Cavs games and bringing business into local-area restaurants and bars on a given night.
Simply put: the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers are doing everything in their power to make LeBron happy. They know the consequences of LeBron leaving, and they are doing everything they can to make the two-time NBA Champ happy before the 2015-2016 season ends and James has the ability to opt-out of his contract this offseason. Ever since LeBron James has been in the NBA, he has never had a hard-nosed dictator of a coach like a Gregg Popovich (San Antonio), etc. Instead, James has always been given a coach that he can have complete control over like a David Blatt, Erik Spoelstra (Miami), and Mike Brown (Cleveland). By giving LeBron James a coach he is happy with and somebody he can walk all over, James will be that much more likely to stick around in Cleveland after this season. It is kind of sad that this is the day and age the NBA is in, where if a player isn’t the slightest bit happy with his situation they either leave, demand a trade, or push to get their coach fired.