LeBron defends Blatt: Relationship 'better every day'
LeBron James did what he was supposed to do and publicly supported head coach David Blatt on Monday.
Of course, this came on the same day he offered what amounted to the most tepid of endorsements earlier.
"I don't pay no bills around here," James said Monday after reports surfaced that the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise was worried about how the team was responding to their rookie head coach. "He's our coach. I mean, what other coach do we have?"
That statement amounted to a shoulder shrug or perhaps even a passive aggressive dig at Blatt, who has struggled to get the team in order on both ends of the floor. The 18-12 Cavaliers were expected to have a strong offense with a middling defense but instead rank fourth and 23rd, respectively.
But James played the good soldier and offered further support of Blatt on Monday, specifically addressing concerns the team is tuning him out:
I think my relationship with the coach continues to get better and better every day. It's just two months of us being together. I don't know him fully, he doesn't know me fully, he doesn't know any of the guys fully, and that's to be expected. It's our first year together. But he has our attention. ...
I'm happy who we have at our helm. He's our coach. For it to make a feud between me and Blatt or the team and Blatt, it's just to sell. To sell and get people to read it and put something at the bottom of the ticker. That's all it is.
Until the team begins to play better, there will continue to be speculation as to Blatt's job security. Owner Dan Gilbert hasn't been shy about changing head coaches in the past, and even if it's too soon to drop the axe on Blatt, things need to start trending in the right direction in short order.
As has always been the case, the goal for the Cavaliers is to peak by mid-April, not win in December. They may not be coming together as quickly as the Miami Heat may have in 2010, though that group also struggled, but there's still ample time to do so. There's cause for concern, not panic.
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