David Blatt, Israeli American coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers finally got some relief from the pain of a six game losing streak with a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, but there is talk he is getting upstaged by his associate head coach, Tyronn Lue.
LeBron James secured a victory for the Cavaliers by scoring 36 points. It was a head to head with Lakers’ star player Kobe Bryant, and the two traded verbal banter and great shots. Bryant, who has had some injuries, is still a favorite 19 years into the game, but James, who recently turned 30, is new blood. “For all of us, those are two all-time greats going at it … like two prize fighters, ” said David Blatt. “It’s great to see two guys playing the game at that level for so many years and still involving their team mates the way they did, ” Blatt said according to Yahoo sports.
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While LeBron James is a feather in Blatt’s cap, he seems weighed down by comparison to his associate coach, Tyronn Lue. Blatt is the only NBA coach who has solely European experience, and Lue is the highest paid associate coach in the league. Blatt sounded off to ESPN about what he thinks about Lue’s calling timeouts.
“Ty, if you know Tye, he’s a very vocal and active guy. An assistant can’t call a timeout in an NBA game, if you didn’t know that. Now, if he sees something, he feels something, he yells something out to alert me what he thinks. I don’t have a problem with that. I listen to what I think I need to listen to , and what I don’t think I need to listen to. That’s a lot of–I’m trying to find a nice word for it, because I’m talking to the public—well, that’s a lot of nonsense and I think it’s kind of cheap, to be honest with you, I really do.”
Lue has spent 11 years as an assistant coach on NBA teams, including the Celtics and the Clippers. Although the Cavs have had a tough season, Blatt feels confident, “We had a rough first half of the year last year in Maccabi. Really tough. And it looked rough. We came back, we won the European championship, we won the Israeli championship, we won the Israeli cup. One of the great historic years in the history of European basketball. So yeah, I’ve been in that situation before, and the ending was pretty good.”