I'm sure David Blatt has plenty of experience with the foreign press after his years abroad in coaching professional basketball. Sometimes working relationships develop rapport and trust, but sometimes they're also tinged with tension.
Losing games will always be an activator for the tension, and last night the international regime of reporters in Oakland were none too happy about Timofey Mozgov's role in the Cavaliers loss. It was noticeable enough that Jason Lloyd at Ohio.com gave it mention in his 35 thoughts about Game 5.
8. Blatt fielded a total of 20 questions and follow-ups after the game and eight of them pertained to Mozgov, primarily from the foreign press who clearly didn't like the idea of sitting the big man after he played so well on Thursday.
9. Blatt never discusses strategy and always answers personnel questions with a standard, "I thought that was our best chance to win the game." He tried that two or three times following Game 5, but it wasn't good enough. The international press kept coming. After six consecutive Mozgov related questions and follow-ups, Blatt hinted at the possibility it may have been the wrong decision.
10. "Did I make a mistake?" Blatt asked unprompted. "Listen, when you're coaching a game, you've got to make decisions. I felt that the best chance for us to stay in the game and to have a chance to win was to play it the way we played it."
They almost got him, but he wordsmiths his way out of full admission at the last second. I'm sure Blatt knows it's coming since those reporters probably depend on Mozgov action for a lot of their ledes. They're going to get some quotes one way or another.
I admire Blatt's conviction in his decision making though. And he's right: you've got to make calls, and with a team like Golden State you need to make them quickly and confidently.