David Blatt Rumors
Lue would admit that this isn’t the ideal set of circumstances to get a job promotion. But he understands the dynamics and says it doesn’t change his focus on achieving the goals he’s set for this team. “Look, they ridiculed Jesus Christ, so I’m certainly no exception,” Lue told cleveland.com in an exclusive interview. “I don’t care what’s being said. I know how loyal I was to Coach Blatt and the people that know me understand that. I have no control over what people think. I have a job to do and I’m going to do my best.”
Contrary to popular belief, Lue and Blatt are on very good terms. “Me and Blatt are cool,” Lue said to cleveland.com. “We’ve spoken a few times since [he was let go]. I text him a few days ago, so it’s not what people want to think. To say I was doing things behind the scenes to get this job is crazy. This job? A team that’s in first place? Come on. “As long as Coach Blatt supports me, that’s all that matters.”
Cavs shooting guard J.R. Smith opened up training camp in September by telling reporters he would “run through a brick wall for coach,” when asked about Blatt. It was Smith showing his appreciation for Blatt after the coach quickly incorporated him into the Cavs after Smith was acquired from the New York Knicks last January. That loyalty, Smith says, has not wavered. “I was shocked,” Smith told ESPN.com on Monday when asked about Blatt being fired. “I haven’t been a part of that many first-place teams. That’s just something you wouldn’t think about, the coach being fired. It was kind of shocking to me.”
“I’m extremely grateful,” Smith said. “A lot of people never gave me that opportunity. No matter what everybody else was saying, he was the one person who didn’t care what everybody else said. He just let my game speak for itself. So, I commend him for letting me do that because once again, a lot of people around this league judge a book by its cover and what everybody else says about it opposed to trying to get to know him himself.”
“I mean, I think he’s a good coach,” Smith said. “I think he has an opportunity to get another job somewhere. I think somebody will give him a shot given the circumstances. I think before he took the (Cleveland) job, it was pretty much he was going to coach a different team until LeBron (James) and Kev (Love) and everybody came to the situation.