Perhaps it comes with the territory of being a mega star, but Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is almost always cautious to keep his comments and image politically correct.
His opinion on now former coach David Blatt was anything but, going as far as even overriding the coach’s decisions last season. During the NBA Finals, James called timeouts and made substitutions without the consent of Blatt, according to an article written about he and Blatt’s relationship last summer.
With the surprise firing of Blatt yesterday [Friday, January 22], all eyes and fingers went toward the direction of James. Although it’s been reported James already had a preference for new coach Tyronn Lue, James, of course, is sidestepping any involvement with the firing of Blatt.
“That’s not my concern,” he said. “I found out about it just like every other player on this team at 3:30 yesterday. … I think [Griffin] was right on everything he said. … Like it or love it or hate it, we got to respect it.”
A source close to James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that James “didn’t know this was coming” before Griffin gathered the Cavs at the practice facility to inform them that Blatt had been fired.”
We can’t expect anything less from James, who steers away from intentional drama as much as possible. But here, he speaks on maintaining focus from those detractors and briefly about his relationship with Lue, although it’s obviously now changed.
“For me, I can’t get caught up and worried about what other people are thinking,” James said. “I stopped doing that a long time ago in my career. … The only thing I can worry about is how I can get these guys better prepared and we can play better basketball.
“We’ve been friends since I was 17 years old,” James said. “But it ended today. … He’s still the coach and I’m underneath him.”