UPDATE: The Heat have denied the story, and the reporter in question says his quote was incorrectly translated from Hebrew to English.
PREVIOUSLY: It’s been posited elsewhere that the only reason Erik Spoelstra remained in his position as head coach during the rocky early days of the Big-3 era in Miami is because he had the backing of Pat Riley. And Tuesday, as the media was still trying to make sense of David Blatt’s sudden ouster as head coach in Cleveland, Heat minority owner Raanan Katz did his best to perpetuate the narrative that LeBron James was directly responsible, claiming that the two-time champ tried the same tactic with Spoelstra.
Of course, both James and Cavs GM David Griffin have vehemently denied the King’s involvement in the move, and it could also simply be sour grapes on Katz’ part for James leaving Miami in the lurch back in the summer of 2014. One thing’s for certain: It’ll give more fodder to all the LeBron truthers who believe he’s the one pulling all the strings within the organization.
Another thing that gets lost in all the noise is the fact that it’s still far too early to tell whether Blatt’s dismissal was the right move for the team, and it’s a question that may not have a clear answer even after the Finals this spring depending on how things pan out. LeBron’s reputation was always going to take a hit for this. That part was inevitable. And now only a championship trophy can help repair that.