Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and coach David Blatt have responded to recent controversy over who calls plays for the team during games.
LeBron calls Cavs plays: Coach Blatt just repeats them to team.
LeBron reveals his BFFs: James has three good friends, rest are just teammates.
Blatt says LeBron is Cavs’ MVP: Cleveland coach talks up James’ influence.
James insisted that he has freedom from the coaching staff to call plays during games and his coach backed him up and insisted that he didn’t find that “peculiar” at all.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst discussed James’ prominent role in the Cavs’ play-calling this season on Tuesday, revealing that he has seen the two-time NBA champion call out plays while Blatt merely relays the call to the rest of the team.
Further, he added that on several occasions he has witnessed James directly contradict something Blatt has said, but that wasn’t discussed by the pair on Wednesday.
“I don’t think that’s peculiar. When the game is going on and you are in the heat of the battle at times, you can’t get a message through or you don’t want to stop the flow, so a guy may [call the play on his own],” Blatt said, according to ESPN.
“We have sets that we know what we’re going to use going in. You know, we have a package that we’re going to use going in and at times, according to the flow of the game, somebody may call out a play. I don’t think that’s unusual.”
Earlier this season, James even told the media that he’s at a point in his career where he can switch position and get on with the game without consulting the coaches.
However, he was less dramatic on Wednesday as it sounded as though he wanted to consciously play a part in drumming down any controversy that would be caused by the situation which could lead to further questions being asked of Blatt’s authority and position in Cleveland.
“Well, we have a package. If I see something, I have the right to call plays. Kyrie does as well. We kind of do that play calling. Coach Blatt does the play calling obviously throughout the game in timeouts, but it’s great to be able to have some type of freedom out there with Kyrie to be able to call sets that we feel best suit our team.”
James thanked the coaching staff for allowing him that freedom, while Blatt joked that as long as it continued to work he would be happy to allow and encourage James to have the responsibility of calling plays.
While he reiterated that it doesn’t happen all the time, the system seems to be working for both the coach and team as the Cavs look set to secure the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference ahead of the playoffs which as it stands could result in a first-round clash with the Miami Heat.