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Cleverland Cavaliers Fires David Blatt

As news broke that Cleverland Cavaliers (Also known as "The Cavs") had fired David Blattt, Brian Windhorst tweeted the funniest basketball tweet of 2016.

"LeBron James was informed of the decision to fire David Blatt today, he was not consulted on decision sources said"
This last part is critical to understanding where it went wrong. As much as Blatt tried to carry himself like a veteran, he was a first timer, a risky hire who was brought in to coach a team of young guns, not a Finals-bound behemoth. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and teams are reportedly after him already. Maybe with a young group of athletic players like the Timberwolves, we can finally see if his vaunted offensive acumen is real.

Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news yesterday afternoon, and his column is barely about Blatt at all. He has a long history of laying into LeBron (which Draper chronicled over at TNR) and this one’s no different.
Woj reports that LeBron, Rich Paul, and his Klutch Sports agency settled on Mark Jackson as their preferred coach. When Dan Gilbert refused to hire Jackson, the group apparently decided Lue (who, interestingly, is not with Klutch Sports) was their guy. The Woj lays it out, Blatt’s downfall was imminent from day one, not because of his abilities as a coach, but because of a conspiracy by LeBron to turn the locker room.
It’s true that LeBron has unprecedented organizational leverage, but the implication that he was calling for open rebellion to the active detriment of the team is sort of ridiculous for such a competitive player. The Cavs were up 2-1 in the Finals last season and LeBron was more or less serving as coach. As much as he pushed for Blatt to leave, basketball reasons played a massive part. It wasn’t just a power struggle thing.
That’s something you do to coach around a petulant but talented high school junior. Woj may respond here that LeBron just wants his way and Blatt was coaching in deference to that. But Erik Spoelstra had to push LeBron to become a power forward, which LeBron bought into and rode to two titles.
The idea that LeBron would ever not have final say, let alone a place at the table, in deciding whether or not to keep Blatt is hilariously misleading, since he’s already sort of the team’s GM anyway.
Credit: DeadSpin
That it came from Windhorst, who’s covered LeBron since he was in high school, tells you all you need to know about the intended spin of this report. All kinds of reports about Blatt’s tenure and dismissal are coming out today, and regardless of their valence on LeBron James, they all paint a picture of a coach in far over his head.


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