Someone close to former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt has a theory.
LeBron James is responsible for Blatt’s dismissal.
From NBA.com’s David Aldridge:
One of Blatt’s supporters believe that Blatt’s firing was “1,000 percent LeBron.” There is no question that in the Cavs’ grand scheme of things, James carried, and carries, the hammer. But multiple things can be true at the same time.
This isn’t hard to believe. LeBron later claimed that he found out about David Blatt’s exit when everyone else did, and the Cavaliers were steadfast in their position that they didn’t consult James about the decision. But…come on.
LeBron has all the leverage over the organization, and it’s clear he never truly respected Blatt. Though general manager David Griffin might not have given him the initial heads up, the only way he makes the decision to can Blatt is if he knows LeBron is on board.
And there’s nothing especially wrong with that. LeBron didn’t pick Blatt as his head coach, and he’s the most important person in Cleveland. The only problem I have is that they did it midseason, rather than over last offseason or this coming summer. Blatt, the Cavaliers would have us believe, was essentially fired because Cleveland isn’t as good as the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs. And it’s outright ridiculous to believe that’ll change in the middle of the season, particularly when it’s become clear no team is as good as San Antonio or Golden State.
One can argue that, while LeBron didn’t handpick Blatt, he did return to Cleveland knowing he was there. Perhaps he should have made a stronger effort to make it work. Or, shit, maybe he wasn’t absolutely behind a midseason coaching change, even though that feels unlikely.
Really, the only takeaway that matters is this: If LeBron James was a true David Blatt supporter, he would still be Cleveland’s head coach.