The Cleveland Cavaliers are at the top of the Eastern Conference this NBA season. Beating out teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, and Atlanta Hawks, the LeBron James squad has remained dominant in their division. However, this accomplishment appears to be insufficient for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sources now disclose that the Kyrie Irving team decided to fire David Blatt.
"Cleveland has fired coach David Blatt, sources tell Yahoo," revealed Adrian Wojnarowski via social media.
The news came following the devastating defeat of the Cleveland Cavaliers at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Amid the success of the Kevin Love team in the Eastern Conference, the two games against the Stephen Curry squad proved their efforts to be insufficient.
Given that the Golden State Warriors are the reigning NBA champs, the inability of the Iman Shumpert team to beat them presumably signifies yet another failure on their part to bring home the trophy. Moreover, sports analysts have noted that Blatt constantly failed to utilize Love in his plays. The former Minnesota Timberwolves star had been stuck in the corner of the hardwood court ever since he came back from injury. These could have pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers front office to make the drastic move of firing their head coach.
"I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers," Blatt shared in an official statement via ESPN. The head coach added, "I'd like to thank (owner) Dan Gilbert and David Griffin for giving me this opportunity and am honored to have worked with an amazing group of players from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love through our entire roster. I'd also like to express my extreme gratitude to my coaching staff. I am indebted to them for their professionalism, hard work, loyalty and friendship. I am proud of what we have accomplished since I have been the Head Coach and wish the Cavaliers nothing but the best this season and beyond."
According to David Griffin, the Cleveland Cavaliers under Blatt's leadership failed to flourish successfully. Moreover, the general manager noted that the NBA team needs someone "to build a collective spirit, a strength of spirit, a collective will." He added, "I have never seen a locker room not be as connected after wins as they need to be. We've only been galvanized when expectations were not high."
Replacing Blatt is Tyronn Lue. The former Los Angeles Lakers point guard served as an assistant for Blatt in the Cleveland Cavaliers before his promotion as head coach. Reports claim that Lue has been one of the top assistants in the team, with most of the players going directly to him for instructions. Moreover, the new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach is said to be a close friend of King James - a relationship that Blatt never seemed to have established properly.
Griffin further noted, "This is not an indictment of David Blatt as a coach. And it's not to say that Ty Lue is a better basketball coach. He's a better basketball coach for this team today."
Before the announcement, Blatt defended the Cleveland Cavaliers against detractors.
"I hear a lot of far-reaching conclusions, and personally, I don't like it, but there's nothing I can do about it because I'm not the one that's saying or doing those things," said Blatt of the criticisms against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He then added, "I think this team has done pretty well dealing with the adversity that we've had. I think this team is in pretty good position, although people choose to overlook that, which I don't think is fair."
Other coaches and execs in the NBA found the decision to dismiss Blatt shocking. Rick Carlisle, the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, shared that the move "embarrassed" the league. He also assured that Blatt will have a number of potential NBA teams to be a part of following his exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Carlisle said via a separate ESPN report, "I'm embarrassed for our league that something like this can happen like this. It's just bizarre. It just leaves you with a bit of an empty feeling, because Blatt's a great guy, and he did a great job there."