It was shaping up to be a pretty slow news week for the NBA, so I was worried that I might not have enough material for this week’s Pic and Roll. Then the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt, and that worry went right out the window. Let’s get started, shall we?
David Blatt Gets Taken Out With The Trash
The Cleveland Cavaliers were sitting pretty at 30-11, first in the Eastern Conference and one of the favorites to win the NBA title (after the Spurs and the Warriors). They’d had their issues in the past few weeks, but what team doesn’t during the regular season? Surely those issues wouldn’t be enough to dethrone David Blatt as the coach of the team, right?
Wrong. On Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that not only had Blatt been fired, but his assistant Tyronn Lue had already reached a multi-year deal to be the next head coach. That’s right, they didn’t even bother placing the interim tag on Lue. It’s no secret that Tyronn has been LeBron James’ preference ever since he went back to Cleveland (remember, Blatt was hired before LeBron’s return. So it’s not all that surprising that the Cavs went with the choice that would best placate LeBron. Of course, David Griffin and various sources all deny that LeBron had any input on the decision, or was even contacted about these moves before they happened, but it’s hard to believe that’s the case.
What was surprising was the timing. Even though LeBron never truly gelled with Blatt, the Cavs were still among the best teams in the league. Griffin apparently thought the team was “regressing” too much despite their place atop the Eastern Conference standings to let Blatt continue running the team. In politics, Friday is often referred to as “take out the trash day,” because politicians will dump all the bad news in one big lump. That way, the media won’t pick all of it up, both because they can’t report on every item of bad news, and because no one reads the news on Friday. This news, however, was just a bit too big for reporters not to notice.’