David Blatt's job security has been a hot topic lately. With the Cleveland Cavaliers underachieving, it was only a matter of time before this became a storyline. Blatt, of course, was hired before Dan Gilbert's plane ever ventured to Miami. He was supposed to coach a team battling for the eighth seed, rather than one with championship aspirations.
"This narrative of our coaching situation is truly ridiculous. It is a non-story. It's a non-narrative. Coach Blatt is our coach. He's going to remain our coach. Do not write that as a vote of confidence. He never needed one. It was never a question. So don't write it that way."
Matt Moore thought that Griffin's defense of Blatt came too late:
Where was this a week ago? The report about Blatt's situation with the team came out last Monday. Since then, LeBron James has had to respond, Blatt himself has dealt with it, and subsequent reports have backed up the assertion, including Ohio.com. So what took Griffin until Sunday to respond? No vote of confidence the day after, or the day after that?
ESPN's Marc Stein went in pretty hard earlier this week:
The Cavs' impulsive owner rushed out to hire David Blatt to keep him away from Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors, soon discovered he had more hope for burying hatchets with James than anyone in Ohio had ever dreamed, and now finds himself staring at two rather unappealing options ... provided, of course, that Gilbert is prepared to take a proactive role in preventing LeBron's less-than-storybook homecoming season from careening even further out of control.
At Hardwood Paroxysm, our own William Bohl wrote about LeBron's place in all of this:
If the Cavs' front office decides that David Blatt isn't reaching the team, and that Tyronn Lue (who won a pair of rings as a player and has interned under Doc Rivers) would be a better fit, will anyone believe them? Or will they trace it back to LeBron James anyway? The power of the media, and our desire to set up these power struggles and mini-dramas, will trump whatever the truth turns out to be. If LeBron (and his teammates) aren't connecting with Blatt, and the relationship can't be salvaged, would it be so crazy for the team to fire him?
And finally, SI's Phil Taylor has read the body language:
If you parse his statements and scrutinize his body language -- and isn't that what most of us have been doing these last few weeks as the 18-13 Cavs continue to look nothing like the championship contender they were expected to be? -- it's hard to escape the feeling that James doesn't trust Blatt, in his first season as an NBA coach, to run the team. When your star player says, "He's our coach, what other coach do we have?" as James did about Blatt, it sounds like a vote of confidence wrapped around an insult.