Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James reportedly had no faith in coach David Blatt earlier in the season as the latter came under fire quickly in his tenure.
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The pair were in the headlines already this week after it was reported that James was calling plays on the court regularly, with Blatt merely relaying them on to the rest of the team.
While the coach’s authority over his team was naturally questioned, both men moved to quash any suggestions that he was being undermined as both were comfortable with the situation.
James insisted that it isn’t anything new for him in his career, while Blatt jokingly suggested that if it continues to work and the team carries on winning, then why change a winning formula.
Nevertheless, the latest report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst now suggests that James took a while to have faith in his new coach, and arguably that process is still on-going even now.
“He didn’t have a whole lot of faith in the coach. And just me saying that, those people in Cleveland hear that, in the Cavs organization, I’m going to start to get negative commentary, because they don’t believe that. But he didn’t really believe in David Blatt early on,” he wrote on Grantland.
Blatt is a highly successful and talented coach, but much of that has come in Europe as he continues to hone his skills in the NBA in his rookie season as a coach.
While there is certainly still time for James’ respect of him to grow as they continue to win and embark on an important championship push this season, it does leave their relationship and the situation in Cleveland open to criticism and susceptible to cracks appearing in the foundations.
For all the off-court talk, the Cavaliers are set to secure the second seed in the Eastern Conference this season after making a slow start to the campaign and this kind of speculation will mean little to them in the bigger picture.