Report: LeBron James calls plays, David Blatt repeats them
The Cleveland Cavaliers are winning plenty of games, yet the chatter about the icy relationship between LeBron James and David Blatt has not subsided. Simply put, there have been several occasions this season where it seems like LeBron has no use for his coach.
During an appearance on Bill Simmons’ latest podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst shed some more light on the bizarre dynamic the Cavs have going on with their bench. According to Windhorst, LeBron calls the plays most of the time and Blatt is his echo.
“The Princeton offense that David Blatt installed in the preseason, they just threw that out,” Windhorst said, as transcribed by Deadspin’s Tom Ley. “What typically happens — and this has been happening for like three months now — is LeBron will take the ball, and LeBron will call the play. David Blatt will see what play LeBron calls, and he will repeat it to the team. That happens on a regular basis.”
That is certainly consistent with what we have seen and heard all year long. LeBron, who once offered this very half-hearted endorsement of Blatt, literally took over the role of point guard earlier this season without consulting the head coach. Windhorst said James and most of the other Cavs players look toward assistant coach Tyronn Lue more than Blatt.
“I’ve lost track of how many times David Blatt has said something this year and LeBron has directly contradicted it within 45 seconds,” Windhorst added.
If you want to know how much respect LeBron has for Blatt, look no further than that time LeBron literally pushed him to the sidelines while Blatt was arguing with an official.
The way the Cavs perform down the stretch and in the playoffs will likely determine Blatt’s future. If Cleveland wins it all, the arrangement could stick — regardless of whether LeBron or Blatt is running the team. If the Cavs make an early exit, Blatt’s first season coaching LeBron could be his last.