The firing of former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt has made many scratch their heads as to why the successful coach got axed earlier this week. Blatt was only in his second year as the Cavaliers head coach, and is the third head coach in the past forty years to be fired by an NBA team after leading their team to the NBA Finals the previous season. Also, the Cavs are currently at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Perhaps LeBron James got sick of being haunted by nightmares of the Warriors beating them on his team's home court in the 2015 NBA Finals? Or that remnants of his nightmare actually came true earlier this week when the Warriors came to Cleveland and smacked the Cavs by a whopping 34 points?
While many of us can assume why the ousting of Blatt happened, the ever-outspoken Charles Barkley stated he believes Blatt was set up to fail. Now he has his sentiment backed up by Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy. In a discussion with Yahoo Sports reporter Michael Lee, Van Gundy questioned the status of successful coaches who have gotten fired by their NBA team's front office management, a growing trend the past few years amongst NBA coaches who made their teams into playoff contenders but then unexpectedly fired including George Karl, Mark Jackson, Avery Johnson, and Lionel Hollins to name a few. Van Gundy went off about Blatt's firing by saying the following:
“That elevated all of the coach firings totally into the theater of the absurd. You can’t even make a flimsy case that the guy wasn’t meeting expectations…Obviously you have something else going on. Did he order the wrong type of food for post game meals? Did he not give David Griffin a nice enough Christmas present? I don’t know. If David Blatt’s getting fired how in the hell do the rest of us have jobs? Because our front offices aren’t quite as crazy as theirs. The only thing more absurd would be…Walton did a good job, if we lose 2 in a row, we might have to dump [Kerr] & go back to Luke.”
Do you feel Stan on his take? Whatever your take is on the situation, leave a comment to add to the discourse of firing NBA coaches who deliver for their teams.
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