What if I told you the best team in the Eastern Conference with an 30-11 record fired their head coach?
Well it happened in Cleveland today.
The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped a bombshell Friday afternoon firing head coach David Blatt after only a season and a half with the team. Blatt went 83-40 during his time with the Cavaliers and coached the Cavaliers to an Eastern Conference championship and two wins shy of an NBA championship last season in his first season as an NBA coach. Assistant Tyronn Lue will take over as head coach and has signed a multi-year deal according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Lue is the fourth coach to lead the Cavaliers in the last four seasons.
I am absolutely shocked by this news. Even after the massacre that was the 132-98 beating the Golden State Warriors gave the Cavaliers on Monday night, I didn’t expect a firing coming right now. If the Cavaliers didn’t win the championship this season, I would’ve fully expected the team to fire Blatt and make a run at Kentucky head coach John Calipari or ESPN analyst and former head coach Mark Jackson to appease Lebron James. But rumors have been swirling going all the way back to last season that the team didn’t respect or like Blatt and that connected better with Lue, being that Lue was a former NBA player and understood the team better.
Here are some reports from local and national media members
I feel bad for David Blatt because he got a raw deal here. When he took the head coaching job in June of 2014, he was expected to coach a young and upcoming team of Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson. Six weeks later, he was coaching a team that was centered around Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Lebron James. The pressure was on from the start of his tenure and when the whole roster is against you, Blatt still did a great job in his season and a half. Yes, he sometimes made questionable moves and decisions but I believe he’s still in transition to the NBA game after coaching over in Europe for the last two decades. I hope Blatt gets a second chance at some point in the NBA.
As for Tyronn Lue, he has been a well respected assistant coach in the NBA for several years, learning under Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. He was a finalist for the Cavaliers head coaching position in 2014 along with David Blatt and was hired as the highest paid assistant head coach by the Cavaliers after they hired Blatt. He is liked by the players of the Cavaliers and I’m sure they’ll buy into what Lue will preach as the new head coach. Hopefully the Cavaliers don’t miss a beat in the head coaching transistion as they remain on their quest to bring Cleveland’s first championship in 52 years.