David Blatt firedBaltimore Post-Examiner

David Blatt fired: Bryon Scott and Gregg Popovich respond

On Friday, January 22, 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team with the best record in the NBA Eastern Conference, fired their head coach David Blatt. The Cavs hired Blatt in June 2014, after the coach had a very successful career in European basketball.

Last season, Blatt and Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors brought their teams the the NBA Finals, the first time in NBA history two rookie coaches were in the championship series.

For the past 18 months there have been persistent rumors that Cavaliers super star LeBron James did not like or respect Blatt and he has been accused by some people of actually encouraging his teammates to mutiny against Blatt during games and practices. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports accused James and some of his fellow players of making life in the Cavaliers organization miserable until David Blatt was fired.

Everyone around the league has talked about James’ influence over the team, calling the Cavaliers “his” team; even the television announcers for the NBA Finals talked about how LeBron James appeared to be running the team.

Finally, last Friday Cavaliers general manager David Griffin announced Blatt was out as head coach and his assistant, Tyronn Lue, was the new head coach with a three-year deal. Griffin assured everyone LeBron James did not run the team and that the decision to remove Blatt was his, citing “a lack of fit with our personnel and our vision.”

Claudia Gestro was covering the game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers for the Los Angeles Post-Examiner on Friday, a night when the Lakers were commemorating Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Claudia got the pregame comments from head coaches Byron Scott (Lakers) and Gregg Popovich (Spurs) about David Blatt’s ouster from the Cavaliers. Below is the video featuring Scott and Popovic and Claudia’s full report from the game.

Photos and video by Claudia Gestro.

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