Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has insisted that he didn’t influence the decision that saw David Blatt fired as the team’s head coach.
Blatt was fired on Friday and there has been mounting speculation that James had a say in the decision, but Cavaliers general manager David Griffin made it clear that James had nothing to do with the move as he “doesn’t run this organization”.
James echoed Griffin’s sentiments on Saturday and admitted that he was “surprised and caught off-guard” that Blatt had been sacked.
“That’s not my concern,” James told reporters. “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.
“For me, I can’t get caught up and worried about what other people are thinking. 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.”
Meanwhile, James also made it clear that he will listen to everything newly appointed head coach Tyronn Lue has to say even though the duo have been close friends for a long time.
James also backed Lue to succeed and added that the Cavaliers’ goal this season is to be crowned NBA champions after they fell short last season as they were beaten 4-2 by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
“We’ve been friends since I was 17 years old, but at the end of the day, he’s still the coach and I’m underneath him,” James said. “He will coach me and push me, and I’ll listen to everything he has to say and go from there. Don’t try to make it a story of why me and Coach Lue are so tight. I think it’s a lot of coaches and players that’s close in this league. It just happened to be me.
“Very detailed. That helps a lot. A guy who played the game as well, so he’s won a championship — multiple championships — so there’s nothing that he hasn’t seen. He’s played for Phil Jackson, he’s coached with Doc [Rivers], he’s been all over, so he has experience. We put our trust in him now. We’re going to give him whatever he needs. We’ve got to follow his lead.
“We can put together four great months to the end of the regular season to build a lot of things to go into the playoffs, and then everything that we’ve built, we can go from there. Obviously, there’s a lot of time. … I love our position that we in. I would hate to be in 14th in the East and try to fight our way out. We’re still in first place for a reason. We can be much better than we were.”