As LeBron James goes, the Cleveland Cavaliers do, too. The Northeast Ohio native carries singular power like no other player in professional sports, and has consistently wielded it to fit his wants and needs since his first stint with the wine and gold in the mid-2000s.
Naturally, the basketball world’s immediate assumption gleaned from Cleveland’s shocking dismissal of David Blatt and promotion of Tyronn Lue is that James was the driving force behind it. He’s not only notoriously close with the Cavaliers’ new head coach, but rumors have swirled since early last season that he was displeased with their old one, too.
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that widespread belief mere minutes after first announcing Cleveland’s shakeup on the sidelines.
But reports on James’ involvement in the decision differ. Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group says the move was management’s decision only.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal insists as much, too, but also reports that the Cavaliers’ entire locker room – not just James alone – was prepared to move on from Blatt if their season went south.
Regardless of whose voice was loudest here, one thing is abundantly clear: Cleveland has reached an epic crossroads at the season’s halfway point. And unless Lue’s impact proves bigger than seems realistic and he leads his team to a title, James and the Cavaliers will have to take a hard look in the mirror yet again come the offseason.