HoopsHype David Blatt rumors

January 25, 2015 Updates
January 21, 2015 Updates

And as Cleveland fans worry that Blatt isn't using his roster properly, Israelis are proudly sticking behind him. Boston-born Blatt, 55, remains one of the country's most beloved figures, thanks to his winning history as a coach in his adopted homeland and national pride in his making it big time. "It means a lot from two perspectives: Number one, I can do something for the people in Israel, and number two, I can do something about bringing seven million new fans to the Cavaliers," Blatt said Monday night after a third straight win put the Cavaliers at 22-20. "I've been very fortunate, we had a great deal of success in Israel the last several years, so people are positive about this and about me and I've got Bron and Kevin and Kyrie and they love the NBA over there so it's a natural tie-in, and it's great." NBA.com

His roots in Israel remain deep. He's married to an Israeli woman, Kinneret, and raised his four children here, with the oldest two having completed their military service. He speaks fluent, albeit American-accented, Hebrew and is a popular pitchman for TV ads who has professed a desire to one day serve as an ambassador for the country. An economic newspaper recently reported Blatt just purchased a pair of high-rise Tel Aviv apartments. NBA.com

January 18, 2015 Updates

Regardless of what they say now, the idea of parting ways with Blatt was absolutely discussed internally. But the organization dug in its heels and refused to cave to James. For months, I wrote and said on the radio that Erik Spoelstra always had the backing of Pat Riley, even in James’ earliest and orneriest days. I questioned (doubted?) whether Cavs owner Dan Gilbert would show Blatt that same support. To this point, to the surprise of many, he has. Akron Beacon Journal

Griffin’s passionate speech was an enormous risk. The Cavs lost six straight after that, with mixed levels of motivation and effort, and I wondered if Griffin inadvertently put a grenade in his own hand. After all, Gilbert has made emotional, reactionary decisions in the past. How could Griffin salvage any credibility now if Gilbert changes his mind? “I never would’ve said what he said,” one rival front office executive said in the days after Griffin’s bold move. “They would’ve had to fire me first.” Akron Beacon Journal

One respected NBA assistant coach even called here to insist Cleveland already had spoken to Mark Jackson about taking the reins, though Cavaliers sources vehemently denied the claim and were speculating on the source of the rumor. That aside, nothing short of winning — and winning big — is going to cool Blatt’s chair. LeBron James has missed nine games, Anderson Varejao is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon and general manager David Griffin’s trades have altered the rotation. Boston Herald

A team source said the club had essentially settled on Blatt in May when it believed it would be a young outfit in need of development. Having brought overseas teams a long way in a short time, he was seen as a perfect fit. Boston Herald

January 17, 2015 Updates

In the end, that possibility starts with this, too: the support of owner Dan Gilbert and general manager David Griffin, which has been sweeping and unimpeachable so far. "There is not even a thought of replacing him," one high-ranking Cavaliers official told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

As Blatt gains confidence in his understanding of the NBA, his understanding of his own personnel, his voice has to rise over the noise and be heard. "I've deferred a little bit more than I normally have, yes," Blatt told Yahoo Sports. "I can do a better job than I've done with that. I have done less in the interest of trying to find the right way to reach guys. At the end of the day, it's probably not the [right] way." Yahoo! Sports

At times, would Blatt prefer to see James more engaged in timeouts and huddles? "I do," Blatt told Yahoo Sports. "But I've had players do that before. But the answer to that is just winning. This isn't a perfect world. This isn't utopia. In the NBA, it's different. Every glance, twitch, gets glorified and magnified. I just let it go. There's nothing I can do about it." Yahoo! Sports

Blatt's strategy seems simple: Over time, sell James – sell all these Cavaliers – on a vision for victory. "It is a process," Blatt told Yahoo Sports. "It really has to come first from the professional side. Man to man, we're OK. We don't go out drinking together, but we're fine man to man. But professionally, LeBron wants to win. And he wants from me, from any coach, a vehicle to help him win. "Sometimes, it's tougher. Sometimes, it's less so. He's one of the great players of all time. He's been in the Finals four straight years and five times overall. He's got his own opinions and he expresses them. At times, he can be stubborn. But what I know from him, what he wants from me, is a vehicle to help him win. And beyond that, nothing else is really important." Yahoo! Sports

Blatt delegated to Lue the authority to originate the call for timeouts when the staff deemed necessary. Of course, an assistant coach cannot call a timeout in the NBA. The suggestion Lue has been disloyal and undermining can be puncturing to a young coach's career, and Blatt had one word to describe the assertion: "Horse[bleep]." "Just like Doc [Rivers] gave the defense to Tom Thibodeau [in Boston], I did the same thing with Ty Lue when I brought him in," Blatt told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

The team was reeling, coming off of losing its sixth straight game and a grueling practice was the anticipation. But what should have been a six-minute bus ride from their Beverly Hills hotel to the campus turned into 10, then 15, then a 20-minute ride. "I was like, 'Where are we going?'" Tristan Thompson recalled to Northeast Ohio Media Group. "I was confused." Head coach David Blatt had something up his sleeve. When the bus finally stopped, it was in front of a bowling establishment in Hollywood. To their shock, they learned practice was never in the plans. It was about getting away from basketball and bonding as a team. Cleveland Plain Dealer

The last three weeks have been an agonizing period for the team and especially for Blatt. That's why the players agreed that a few hours out on the town attempting to bowl strikes was a great call by Blatt. "I think it was a surprise for most guys," Kevin Love said. "It just helped so much. We all needed a break from it all." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Obviously, that approach won't work in the NBA unless one has a resume highlighted with a few NBA championships. In an interview with Northeast Ohio Media Group, Blatt elaborated on the notion that he's not operating as he did in years past. "There are different things, but does that mean that I'm personally different?" Blatt asked NEOMG. "I don't think so. It's a different game and a different environment and naturally there are going to be things that I will have to adjust to." Cleveland Plain Dealer

The play was to find Irving at the top of the key, but the Clippers were overplaying him. James instead zipped a pass to a cutting Tristan Thompson who finished a layup and was fouled. James immediately looked at the coaching staff and pointing in their direction as if he was commending them for drawing up such a beautiful, effective play. It was the first time James has outwardly shown any level of satisfaction or gratitude towards Blatt. Cleveland Plain Dealer

January 16, 2015 Updates

Hearing about the discord between coach David Blatt and LeBron James for the past week, I noticed some interesting interactions on the sidelines between the two. I took these videos during timeouts. It sure looks to me like James is not paying attention to Blatt and is clearly disengaged. During some of the huddles he is staring into the distance, is 10 feet removed from the rest of the team, and even walks away from Blatt to the other side of the court, nowhere near his teammates. SheridanHoops

There was little to no interaction between LBJ and Blatt. With a few minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Cavs made a miraculous comeback to tie it up from trailing by as many as 18, and while Blatt was drawing up a play, LBJ cut him off and took over the huddle. I don’t have an agenda here. I’m simply reporting what I saw. You be the judge. SheridanHoops

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