David Blatt Rumors
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.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been invigorated over the last week following game plan changes by new coach Tyronn Lue, but it hasn’t been the only event that’s positively affected the team. Following a meeting called by general manager David Griffin to inform the team coach David Blatt had been fired, Cavs players held an extended and spirited players-only meeting, sources told ESPN.com. It turned into an airing of grievances for players including stars LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving but eventually led to an agreement that has been a basis for the Cavs recent strong play.