Ultimately, Blatt had little staying power with the Cavaliers, because James had turned Blatt’s removal into an inevitability. As the games wore on, opposing players on the floor weren’t only watching James constantly wave off plays from the coach – but role players feeling emboldened to disregard the head coach’s instructions, too.
James had the Cavaliers existing in open rebellion for more than a season now, with no Pat Riley in the organizational shadows to scare everyone into compliance.
Despite winning 11 of 13 games – losing only to the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs – James had become increasingly vocal in his opposition of Blatt in recent practice sessions and game environments. Within the franchise, it was hard to hear anything else. LeBron James and Rich Paul never had to walk into the GM’s office and demand the firing of the coach. All together, they had the capability of making everyone’s life hell until the deed was done.