Earlier this month, Tyronn Lue said that coaching the Cleveland Cavliers is “the hardest job by far” in basketball. Lue, who guided the Cavs to an NBA title last season, said that media attention makes the job difficult “because you’re out in front all the time,” adding that “if you say one wrong thing – especially leading this team – it goes viral.”
Is Lue right?
Well, let’s ask the man he replaced.
“I think there’s a lot to what Ty is saying,” former Cavs coach David Blatt said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “In that situation, expectations are great – and justifiably so – because they have a great team. The immediacy in the sense of now is real and palpable and so very, very constant, and the attention that that team draws because of the great players and personalities that you have there are a constant source of attention and interest for everyone. So I think Ty is right in many respects. I can’t say if that’s true of every team in the NBA because I haven’t been on every team in the NBA. But from the outside looking in – or even from the inside looking out when I was there – I very much understand what it is that he’s saying, and there’s a lot to that.”
Blatt went 83-40 (.675) in one-and-a-half seasons in Cleveland. He also went 14-6 (.700) in the playoffs. Nevertheless, he was fired in January 2016 despite the fact that the Cavs, then 30-11, had the best record in the East.
“I didn’t do a bad job in my former job in Cleveland,” Blatt said. “We were a very, very successful winning team. I always say, ‘I didn’t fail at my job. I failed to keep my job.’”
Blatt, 57, is now a head coach in Turkey.
Cleveland will face Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET.