by: STEVEN GEHEGAN/Staff Writer
As it turns out, the most powerful man for the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise is LeBron James.
Head Coach David Blatt was recently fired by the Cavaliers after his first season of leading the team to a National Basketball League Final appearance. This season, Blatt’s team had the best record in the Eastern Conference.
While Blatt was well known overseas to be a great coach, he was a NBA rookie when he took the head coaching job of the Cavaliers. Even with all that Blatt had lead this team to, this was the best course of action if Cleveland wants to win a title.
Blatt failed in several key areas, which led to him being fired. The first one was that he was too new to the NBA game. There where times when Blatt seemed lost. Such as the time during the playoffs when he tried to call a time-out when Cleveland had none. Or all of the reports that Tyronn Lue was running the practice and calling some of the plays during timeouts. If Cleveland was still a young team learning, they could deal with some of these issues. But for a team trying to compete for a NBA title, he was just holding them back.
Then there was the fact that in what was perceived to be big game against Western Conference foes the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors, Blatt was 0-3. Two of those losses came from the defending NBA champion Warriors, with the last one decided by more than 30 points in favor of the Warriors.
When you’re trying to compete for a title, you need to be able to win games against the other conference’s best team, or at the very least being competitive in those games. Since Blatt could not manage to win one of those games, he was just holding Cleveland back.
Then there was the most important reason why Blatt was let go, which was that he was never able to gain the trust of his players, especially the most important player on the team. While it did not seem that James had any negative feelings toward Blatt, there was no trust between the star player and the head coach. It seemed like the players did not want to spend their time waiting for Blatt to catch up with the rest of the NBA coaches while they try to bring a title to Cleveland.
With all of the things working against Blatt, it was time for them to move on to a new head coach, so they promoted Lue. While it remains to be seen if Lue will work out better than Blatt did, at least it seems that he has the trust of the players, which is something that Blatt never had.