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Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has insisted that his working relationship with assistant Tyronn Lue is fine and that the atmosphere in the locker room is great.
Blatt has come under intense pressure in recent weeks as the Cavaliers continue to struggle after losing six games in a row and nine out of 10 to fall to 19-20 for the season.
While they did stop that rot on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, they remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and after assembling a talented roster, the franchise knows that it is not enough.
Nevertheless, Blatt has taken exception to reports that there is discord between him and his assistant Lue, while he also dismissed suggestions that there were issues inside the locker room with the players too.
“Ty, if you know Ty, 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,” Blatt told reporters.
“Now, if he sees something, he feels something and 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.”
Blatt argued that he encountered a similarly difficult start to his career as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, but he showed his resolve in that role to lead them to a European championship, the Israeli championship and the Israeli Cup and turned it all around to produce one of the most historic years in European basketball.