It’s been some time since I’ve posted here. Over a year, if I’m not mistaken.
The reason for that is simple – after 8 years (or so) of convincing others of the true greatness of LeBron James – and after 4 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs (2 rings), 5 straight Finals appearances, and particularly after LeBron’s otherworldly individual performance in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors – I felt that, essentially, there was nothing left to argue. My work was done.
Of course, it wasn’t (or perhaps I was just burned out and I’ve become re-energized).
But LeBron has just turned 31 and will probably play into his late 30s. Maybe until 40. So, naturally, different storylines are going to emerge (and indeed have already emerged) that are attempting to threaten LeBron’s place in the NBA.
But we’ll get to those issues in another post.
(Particularly about Stephen Curry and whether he’s going to actually dislodge LeBron with multiple years of dominance, or whether he’s going to be more like Dwyane Wade or a hyper-Tracy McGrady i.e. someone who has 1 season of otherworldly statistical play, but could never really string them together year after year. We may have seen that with Anthony Davis, meaning that last season might end up being the best season of his career.
Last year people thought Anthony Davis was already overtaking LeBron. This year nobody is saying that. This year it’s Curry’s turn. Before Curry and Davis it was Kevin Durant. Before Durant it was Derrick Rose.
Each of these players have played extraordinarily well for a season (extraordinarily well = more than one season of 30.0+ PER – aside from Rose, whose qualification is an MVP). But none of them have yet proven as consistent as top tier greats like LeBron or Michael Jordan.
You get the idea.
Put that aside for now.)
I want to talk more about David Blatt.
I’m probably not going to say anything that hasn’t already been said, but from my point of view Blatt was fired primarily because of his arrogance. He came into the NBA wanted to be treated like Gregg Popovich. It doesn’t help that he has supporters like Rick Carlisle saying in the press that he’s one of the greatest coaches in history. While that may be true in general, it doesn’t necessarily mean he can coach in the NBA.
Nick Saban is a perfect example. He’s perfect for other leagues with different rules and different dynamics, but he isn’t an NFL coach. I say this as a major Nick Saban fan stemming from his days as the Miami Dolphins head coach (for those that don’t know, I’m a lifelong die-hard Miami Dolphins fan. While it didn’t work out in Miami for Saban, I nonetheless grew to respect him and eventually become a fan of his.)
Now, for what it’s worth, I was calling for Blatt’s head very early last season. He always rubbed me the wrong way. Not just his arrogance, but his kind of transparent fake-it-til-you-make-it bench enthusiasm.
Of course, he let LeBron walk all over him when LeBron actually needs (wants) someone to stand up to him. Enter Coach Lue, who said that in his first meeting with LeBron after Blatt was fired that he’s going to start holding LeBron accountable in front of the team, something Blatt never did.
So David Blatt is moving on, and it’s probably best for him, and best for LeBron, and therefore, theoretically, best for the Cavs.
PS. I’m watching the Cavs first post-Blatt game vs the Chicago Bulls. The team is still finding itself, which is understandable. I do expect the post All-Star break Cavs to be the best version of the Cavaliers in the 2015-16 season.