In an explosive report published Friday after Griffin announced the firing of head coach David Blatt, Wojnarowski paints a picture of a behind-the-scenes Cavaliers power structure that finds James and his agent, Rich Paul, at the top.
Wojnarowski reports that before Blatt's tenure as coach even officially began, James and Paul hatched a plan to install erstwhile Golden State Warriors bench boss Mark Jackson in his seat.
From the report:
To become the preferred candidate of the most powerful player in the NBA - and de facto Cavaliers general manager - Jackson understood what he needed to do: Bring on James' and Paul's Klutch Sports agency as his representation, and prepare to deliver those commission fees into the King's coffers. Blatt never had a chance. He never knew what hit him.
Griffin refused to kowtow to that particular demand, citing Jackson's turbulent tenure with the Warriors. The two sides then found a "compromise choice" in assistant Tyronn Lue (who signed a three-year deal to become head coach immediately upon Blatt's dismissal), though Lue himself preached patience and was supportive of Blatt, according to Wojnarowski.
Meanwhile, James and Paul reportedly set about doing everything they could to undercut and discredit Blatt until the front office's hand was forced:
Ultimately, Blatt had little staying power with the Cavaliers, because James had turned Blatt's removal into an inevitability. As the games wore on, opposing players on the floor weren't only watching James constantly wave off plays from the coach - but role players feeling emboldened to disregard the head coach's instructions, too.
Brendan Haywood, who played for the Cavs last season, said Blatt was "scared" of James. If Wojnarowski is to be believed, it seems he had good reason to be.
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