Was David Blatt fired as Cleveland Cavaliers head coach last week because of a strained relationship with LeBron James?
It’s a question that’s been posed in the days since Blatt’s firing, and the theory that James played a role in the ouster might hold some weight despite both the superstar and the organization denying that’s the case.
Blatt’s camp believes the coach’s firing was “1,000 percent LeBron,” a supporter told NBA.com’s David Aldridge over the weekend. According to Aldridge, “there is no question that in the Cavs’ grand scheme of things, James carried, and carries, the hammer,” though multiple things can be true at the same time.
Perhaps James didn’t respect Blatt, as some have suggested. Or perhaps the Cavaliers just felt like change was necessary in spite of Cleveland leading the Eastern Conference. We might never know the truth, but the widespread belief clearly is that James influenced the organization in some way, shape or form.
“Still, many around the league — not just crackpots, but sober guys who’ve been around a long time — believe, and always will, that James either out front (or behind the scenes) got Blatt fired,” Aldridge wrote.
In any event, the Cavs’ situation no longer is Blatt’s issue. It’s up to new head coach Tyronn Lue — presumably a LeBron guy, if speculation is true — to guide Cleveland to the next level.
The Cavaliers entered Monday with a 30-12 record. They lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals last season.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images