Cavaliers star LeBron James said “it sucks” that people think he was behind coach David Blatt’s shock exit – but feels “people get it so misconstrued because I’m a smart basketball player.”
An exasperated James said to reporters on Wednesday: “What do you guys want me to do? Turn my brain off because I have a huge basketball IQ?”
James insisted he had nothing to do with Cleveland’s decision to fire Blatt, who was surprisingly let go just months after taking the Cavaliers to the NBA finals.
“It sucks,” James said. “But what can I do about it? I’ve never, in my time since I picked up a basketball, ever undermined a coach, ever disrespected a coach. You ask any of my little league coaches, my high school coaches, coaches I’ve played for in tournaments, camps, my NBA coaches. I’ve always respected what they wanted to do. And I’m not the owner of a team, I’m not the GM of a team. I’m the player of a team.”
The four-time NBA MVP has been labelled a “coach killer” for apparently orchestrating in Blatt’s departure, in order to get Tyronn Lue, his preferred coach, into the top role. But that just isn’t true, said LeBron.
“People get it so misconstrued because I’m a smart basketball player and I’ve voiced my opinion about certain things, which I did when I was here my first stint with Paul Silas and Mike Brown. Which I did in Miami with Coach Spo [Erik Spoelstra]. Which I did with Blatt and I’ll do with T-Lue. And at the end of the day, they’ll still have their final call.”
“I don’t know,” James said. “What do you guys want me to do, turn my brain off because I have a huge basketball IQ? If that’s what they want me to do, I’m not going to do it, because I’ve got so much to give to the game. There’s no difference for me telling my team-mates or telling guys how to get better with their game. If I feel I got something that will help our team, ultimately, I like to give it. It helped me get two titles.”
“So, but I think it does suck that people want to throw my name in dirt for no particular reason, because of speculation or whatever the case may be. But you can’t worry about it too much. I got 14 guys here. I got a fan base here and a fan base all over the world that loves what I do, and they respect what I do, and I can’t worry about a select group of people that wants to use their negative energy to take away my positive energy. I can’t allow that to happen.”
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 27th January 2016 19.41 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010