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Mark Jackson was LeBron's first choice for coach when he returned

When LeBron James came back to Cleveland, he already had in mind who wanted to coach the Cavs.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Hours after David Blatt was fired yesterday afternoon, when the storm had suddenly quieted down, more information was presented to us on what went down inside the Cavs' locker room that lead to the firing in the first place.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst reported that Blatt's ego had gotten the best of him, while's Chris Haynes reported that it was Blatt's coddling of the Cavs' top talent and not holding them accountable -- especially LeBron James -- that lead to his firing.

One interesting tidbit on the Blatt comes from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported that LeBron and Blatt never worked out because the Cavs didn't -- and weren't going to -- hire James' first choice for head coach, current ESPN NBA analyst and former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, when James decided to come back to Cleveland in the summer of 2014.

From Wojnarowski:

Before David Blatt ever conducted his first training camp practice in September 2014, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul, had the coach's succession plan in place: Mark Jackson.

To become the preferred candidate of the most powerful player in the NBA – and de facto Cavaliers general manager – Jackson understood what he needed to do: Bring on James' and Paul's Klutch Sports agency as his representation, and prepare to deliver those commission fees into the King's coffers.


In the end, here was the problem for Klutch Sports' original plan: Cleveland refused to hire Jackson. General manager David Griffin is too well-connected in the NBA, too knowledgeable of the truths inside Jackson's Warriors regime to let that happen. So much of Griffin's job has been to manage the constant demands of James' camp and the volatility of owner Dan Gilbert. As much as anything, his job has been to bridge the chaos above and below him.

Although current Cavs' coach Tyronn Lue wasn't LeBron's preferred pick to be his coach in Cleveland, Lue has earned the support of LeBron. And according to Wojnarowski, Lue was considered a nice consolation prize in place of Jackson, according to Wojnarowski.

Despite his well-known tenure at Golden State, Jackson still has his name thrown in the coaching carousal any time a high profile job opens up, and this report is an example of that. With that all being said, would the Cavs be better or worse with Jackson as the head coach?