Monday, January 25, 2016

Why the David Blatt Firing changed my opinion of LeBron James


The collective shock surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers’ mid-season firing of David Blatt has begun to subside. The reality of the behind the scenes discord, however, still is unfolding. And it does not make the league’s most recognizable athlete look as inclusive as he would like us to believe he is.


If you have been following my writing on this blog for even a year, you know that I have always been one to crown LeBron James as one of the best to play—because he is. But for me, it was more than just his basketball talent. It was his desire to play the Good Father or Community Leader quite often. It was moments like these that I always pointed to to represent his big heart. To his credit, he has never been involved in scandals like other legendary athletes in recent memory a la Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Kobe Bryant, Floyd Mayweather or even Michael Jordan.

But this is not acceptable.


When a coach who is 30-11 is fired a year after taking his team to the NBA Finals, something is wrong. Stan Van Gundy said it best in this clip…what does this mean for assessing coaching success if wins don’t matter?


LeBron James has come out and said that he was surprised about the coaching change but I don’t believe that. Anybody who doesn’t think LeBron James is lying is, to quote a social media icon, playing themselves.

I have been dumbfounded. The final straw for me was this excellent breakdown by Coach Nick. LeBron James mopes around the court like a 10-year-old who was told he couldn’t have ice cream before he did his homework. It’s pitiful, disgraceful, and a whole host of Stephen A. Smith adjectives. And why does LeBron give a basketball-unknown, his friend Rich Paul, so much power?

If you haven't already, you need to watch this.


Will the Cleveland Cavaliers be better off without David Blatt? Most likely. Did the Warriors’ firing of Mark Jackson set precedence for firing “successful” coaches? No doubt. Will Blatt laugh all the way to the bank and sit at home like the rest of us, enjoying Super Bowl commercials when the Carolina Panthers suit up against the Denver Broncos? I hope so. But at the same this timing is just so…wrong. I’m hardly saying anything that hasn’t been said already, but this is a conclusion I’ve personally never come to before in 10+ years I’ve watched the ascent of an all-time NBA great:

The circus surrounding the Cavs this season and the David Blatt firing is a tremendous indictment against the character of LeBron James.

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