He led the team to the NBA Finals last season andfinishes with a career record of 83-40 in 123 games, including an east-leading 30-11 this season, but star LeBron James said Saturday that it was not about wins and losses.
Reports say James was not consulted in the decision, despite many in the basketball world believing it was James who wanted Blatt out. Team general manager David Griffin stated when asked about the problem with the team "I have never seen a locker room not be as connected after wins as they need to be."
Lue was a top candidate for the Cavs' head coaching job in 2014, when it went to Blatt, and was interviewed multiple times last summer for other coaching gigs. The team will not give the assistant an interim tag, calling him the full-time coach of the team.
Owner Dan Gilbert was consulted in the decision, and was in favor of relieving Blatt of his coaching duties. This will be the Cavs' third coach in the past four seasons.
Blatt released a statement on Friday thanking the team for the opportunity to work with the players and the coaching staff. Reports say Blatt is planning on coaching in the league again instead of returning to the European game.
James was informed of the decision on Friday, and got what he has wished for: being coached by a former player. Not only that, but a good friend in Lue, who has been close with LeBron since they were teenagers. Cleveland made the odd move to switch coaches as a top seed in the middle of the season, but the team, and their star, believe there is more than enough time to "right the ship."