David Blatt Rumors
DM: You mentioned Coach Blatt, and I know last year during the time from the point you took over through the championship you guys had communication. Do you guys have much of a relationship these days? TL: I talked to him a couple times this season. I think he’s in the Final Four over there [in Turkey] right now. Phil [Handy] talked to him the other day and he told him to tell me hello. But I’m very supportive of Coach Blatt, he’s very supportive of me. He gave me my opportunity to come here and it was good. It’s just sad the way it ended, the way it happened and the circumstances, but he understood that I have his back and we’re still cool. So, that’s the most important thing to me.
Ferrell recounted each sputter on the train back from the failed tryout. “A lot of time just to sit and think about it,” he said. “I felt like, it didn’t work for Brooklyn, it didn’t work for the Sixers, what’s going to be next for me?” His break-in-case-of-emergency option, playing overseas in Europe, grew increasingly more attractive. By late January, Ferrell’s agent, Keith Kreiter, had arranged a phone call with former Cavaliers head coach David Blatt to discuss the logistics of joining Darussafaka in Turkey. Mere hours before Blatt was scheduled to call, Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson intervened with a 10-day contract. “It happened fast,” Ferrell said.
“David’s a really good coach,” said Stevens, who texted with Blatt after Zizic signed with Darussafaka. “I think, obviously, I don’t know what they are running or how they are guarding, I haven’t watched how they play, but David certainly has a great feel for the way that this league works and everything else. He’ll be practicing against and playing against very good players who are older, more experience and more accomplished, and then David will help, obviously, in that development as well.”
Do you think LeBron James is coachable? David Blatt: Hey, listen: How many championships has he won? Obviously, he’s coachable. I can name you 30 NBA coaches right now that would love to have him. Do you think LeBron James fired you? David Blatt: I don’t think that. Of course he didn’t fire me. He’s not the one to do that. That was the management decision.
Keith Dambrot, the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, coached James at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, and the two are still close. I called him the other day on the road, to ask about working with the greatest player in the world. “You can’t be afraid to coach him,” Dambrot says, in a charming twang. “Like all great players, he wants to be coached. I still tell him the truth whenever I talk to him. I think that’s what you do with people you care about: tell ’em the truth. And whenever he’s had any slippage, I know he’s got in his heart, and in his mind, goodness.” “You can’t do anything without LeBron’s blessing; it doesn’t take Albert Einstein to figure that out,” he says of Blatt’s firing. “But LeBron’s never said a negative thing to me about Coach Blatt. And that’s the honest-to-God truth.”