The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are no longer the biggest obstacles between the Cleveland Cavaliers and an elusive Larry O’Brien Trophy. LeBron James and company will now continue their arduous quest for a championship with a shocking mid-season change on the sidelines, too.
Blatt was hired by the Cavaliers on June 20th, 2014, a couple weeks prior to James announcing his return to Northeast Ohio. Despite rumors of discord between he and the team through last season, the 56 year old received widespread plaudits for helping woefully shorthanded Cleveland to a surprisingly competitive performance in the NBA Finals. James, his teammates, and upper management have consistently thrown support behind their once-embattled coach ever since, too, suggesting the marriage between Blatt and the Cavaliers would be more fruitful going forward.
Alas, owner Dan Gilbert and general manager David Griffin have chosen to shake things up at the season’s halfway point.
Lue, 38, was a serious candidate for Cleveland’s coaching vacancy following 2013-14, and was named the franchise’s associate head coach less than 72 hours after Blatt took office. A close confidante of James and other players, he is the league’s highest-paid assistant – or was, at least, before suddenly filling Blatt’s shoes as the Cavaliers’ chief in-game decision maker.
We’ll keep you updated on this developing situation as more news becomes available.