Former Cavs big man Brendan Haywood has maintained close ties with members of the Cleveland organization and says that former coach David Blatt lost the locker room due to his reticence to challenge LeBron James, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com relays. In an interview on Sirius XM’s NBA Today channel, Haywood said, “Coach Blatt was very hesitant to challenge LeBron James. It was one of those situations where, being a rookie coach, and LeBron being bigger than life, it was a little too much for him. I remember we had James Jones [talk] to Coach about how, ‘Hey, you can’t just skip over when LeBron James makes a mistake in the film room.’ Because we all see it. And we’re like, ‘Hey, you didn’t say anything about that. You’re going to correct when Matthew Dellavedova‘s not in the right spot. You’re going to say something when Tristan Thompson‘s not in the right spot. Well, we see a fast break and LeBron didn’t get back on defense or there’s a rotation and he’s supposed to be there, and you just keep rolling the film and the whole room is quiet.’ We see that as players. That’s when … as a player, you start to lose respect for a coach.”
Here’s the latest out of Cleveland:
- Tyronn Lue‘s three year contract calls for him to make a prorated $3MM for this season, $3MM for the 2016/17 campaign and the final year is a team option worth $3.5MM, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link).
- James and his agent, Rich Paul, had been trying to get Blatt replaced with former Warriors coach Mark Jackson since last season, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports writes. Once it became apparent that the Cavs would not hire Jackson, Lue became James’ and Klutch Sports’ fallback option, though Lue’s refusal to sign with the agency for representation leaves him in a position where he needs to have immediate success, Wojnarowski adds. The Yahoo scribe also notes that Lue considered taking the position as an interim one, but instead decided to take the security of a longer deal.
- Mavs coach Rick Carlisle called the Cavs’ decision to part ways with Blatt an embarrassment to the league and believes Blatt will land another NBA position, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News writes. “It’s a shocker. It’s just a real shocker,” Carlisle said regarding Blatt’s dismissal. “The bottom line with this is that I know a couple of things about coaching in this league. I know integrity. And I know knowledge. I can’t speak to the internal things that [might] have gone on in Cleveland. I’ve read some of the comments that came from the Cavaliers. Teams have a right to make changes. But David Blatt is going to be a highly sought-after coach this summer, if and when there are openings — if he chooses to stay. After this, you just hope a guy like this is still open to coaching in the NBA.“