What was making headlines recently was the jaw-dropping (and by the end of the article, you’ll catch that) firing of David Blatt from the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. Blatt would leave the Euroleague in 2014 to come and coach the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 53-29 record and a trip to the NBA Finals in his first season. He’d come back in 2015, rightfully so, and posted a 30-11 record before the news shocked the world. Everyone asks what’s happening to the coach who fought through an injury-plagued team, and a coach who improved from season one to two, winning 65% of his games to having a 73% winning percentage in his year-two progress.
I have the answer right now, and despite what the Cavaliers organization would have you believe, it’s superstar LeBron James who forced the coach’s way out.
LeBron holds all the cards of Cleveland, and this is what brought James back home, is the ability to make front office decisions and have his voice heard.
So to make sense of this all, let’s go back to LeBron’s first tenure. The Cavaliers, during LeBron’s first stay, won a total of 349 of a potential 574 games, which is around the .600 mark. The Cavaliers only missed the playoffs twice during the seven seasons, and that was LeBron’s first and second years, finishing 9th both years, narrowly missing out on postseason play. However, I’m sure LeBron James feels his time was wasted during these seven years, considering the team only made the conference finals twice, and the NBA Finals once. The team wasn’t properly constructed and the NBA title runner-ups had the likes of Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden starting against the likes of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, so James knew immediately the team couldn’t compete.
LeBron James would then be apart of a “Big 3” as he chose to transfer his talents down to South Beach, teaming with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in hunt for a championship, LeBron’s first. This was the only baggage James carried with him for his first seven years, but he added on more when fans felt he should’ve stayed and won a championship for Cleveland instead of ditching for Miami an an “easier way out”. LeBron would not miss the finals once in four years with the Heat, taking two rings in 2012 and 2013. Pat Riley and the Heat organization had assembled a team with All-Stars, veteran reserves, and energy men off the bench to help assist the team to this historic run.
At this point, in the summer of 2014, LeBron James is regarded as the best player on the planet, and has been for years now, and he needs to make a decision. James decided to opt out of his contract, and suggested teammates Wade and Bosh do the same. LeBron James would listen to offers, but reports came out he was torn between Cleveland and Miami.
Why would anyone who was treated so poorly want to rejoin a team that was so dysfunctional while he was there? Well, because the Cavaliers are dysfunctional, that’s why, and that’s precisely the reason LeBron James decided to make his return.
LeBron James didn’t trust Erik Spoelstra and pushed for Pat Riley and the Heat to fire Spoelstra on numerous times. Team President Pat Riley would not stand for this, would not be pushed around, and said he was going to keep Spoelstra as Miami’s head coach, and asked James to trust him. And while Pat Riley was not willing to give LeBron James power over decisions better suited in the front office, the Cleveland Cavaliers were willing to give that power and control to the NBA’s best player hitting thirty-years-old.
LeBron James was behind the trade to get Kevin Love to Cleveland, a player rumored he wanted to play with down in Miami, and last week he got David Blatt fired, and Tyronn Lue as the replacement.
Everyone has been asking for my answer, and here it is. LeBron James is the evil cartoonist looking for world domination, and his ego is fed by the power, and each press of a button in the control panel is like grapes dropped in his mouth. James has returned to the Cavaliers for “Cleveland Domination”, and it’s worked. LeBron is allowed to do the general manager’s job behind the scenes, while the Gilberts profit from LeBron James merchandise sold, and more tickets, and the revenue from playoff games.
This spells doom on so many levels. Coaches are at a higher stress level than before, with just the awareness that a man off a NBA Finals appearance and winning two-thirds of his career games, canned midseason with the best record in the East. Players on the Cavaliers roster are likely scared to upset LeBron James, let alone new head coach Tyronn Lue, who will likely double-check with James before every minor decision.
Personally, I’d love for David Blatt to go somewhere in the summer and earn his first NBA Championship, because how easy he transitioned from Euroleague to the NBA, it’ll land him a job very quickly. I know I’m rooting for him, as well as other coaches around in the NBA.
As for the Cavaliers are concerned, the devil-crafted deal with LeBron James sealed both fates. The Cavaliers will never win an NBA Championship, and neither will LeBron James, as they stroll down this path of cash-signs and powerful grapevines. There’s no reason to see the Cavaliers actually beating any Western Conference team in the NBA Finals, and they just fired the best coach to do just that, because the power-hungry beast said so.
We’ll look back at this time in 25 years as the worst sports decision an organization made, as well as how LeBron James single-handedly held the Eastern Conference hostage, and even put his career through its suicide by taking his whole life, and the whole Cavaliers organization, in his hands.