The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired David Blatt as their head coach…anddddd he’s gone.
In easily the biggest NBA shocker of 2016, Cavs general manager David Griffin announced Friday that Blatt has been fired and top assistant Tyronn Lue will be taking over as head coach.
Blatt, who took the Cavaliers to the 2015 NBA Finals in his first season as an NBA head coach, was given a bad rap from the beginning. Despite boasting a .675 winning percentage (the seventh best in NBA history) over his one and a half seasons as a head coach, Blatt was constantly criticized by the media, fans, and even players for his inability to lead a team of stars like LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love.
“I’m judging a lot more than wins and losses,” said Griffin. “Sometimes you can win games in this league in the regular season and get worse. I think we were regressing over a period of time.”
Clearly. As Jeff Van Gundy once said, “If they don’t get you on your record, they’ll get you on relationships.”
It wasn’t Blatt’s 83-40 record that got him canned, it was his lack of leadership. Blatt alienated the majority of the Cavaliers’ locker room attempting to win over LeBron, and he wasn’t even able to do that. Griffin was also fed up with the “lack of spirit” from Blatt in big losses this season, including recently to the Golden State Warriors.
Tyronn Lue, on the other hand, is apparently ready to go. The Cavs have already signed the assistant to a deal, making him the team’s newest head coach. Lue has been an assistant on a few teams, but he is most famous for playing time on the 2000 and 2001 Los Angeles Lakers NBA Championship teams.
Oh, by the way, this is the guy that Allen Iverson stepped over in one of the most infamous moments in American sports history.
“He has the pulse of our team,” said Griffin.
I guess we’ll see. I wasn’t a huge fan of Blatt, but I thought they would have fired him after the NBA Finals loss last season, not in the middle of this one.
Either way, dumping Blatt means no more excuses. It’s all up to the team now.