The pressure is on David Blatt in Cleveland — he’s a rookie coach handed a title contender with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and soon Kevin Love. The owner and star player want to win now, not tomorrow. Oh, and by the way, former Warriors coach Mark Jackson just switched agents to Rich Paul, who is LeBron James’ good friend and agent.
Blatt is an experienced international coach but admitted while coaching at Summer League in Las Vegas he was still getting used to the flow of the NBA game, when to call time outs and things like that.
Looks like he’s bringing in a little help in that regard — Larry Drew. Via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
Smart hire here. Blatt could use some veteran NBA voices around him, just to help him and Drew was the head coach last season of the Bucks (before new ownership brought in Jason Kidd) and before that was the head coach of the Hawks for three seasons. Drew actually tried to recruit Blatt to his staff in Atlanta.
Dan Gilbert and Cleveland’s management’s big test now will be patience — it may take a season for all of this to click. There needs to be some roster tweaks — you need a rim protector, for one — but if you don’t give Blatt a chance, if you don’t let this jell, it will never work out as you hope.
LeBron James was dominant — the clear best player on the planet — when the Cleveland Cavaliers needed him most. That’s the reason Cleveland got its first major sports title in 52 years.
It’s the dead part of the NBA season — training camps don’t even open for a month — so why not enjoy a look back at LeBron’s amazing run to a legacy-defining NBA ring. Like you don’t have 15 minutes for this. What are you going to do, watch more preseason football?
It’s a summer tradition — tall NBA players swatting away the shots of young kids at camps/clinics.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has yet to step on an NBA court — this fall, finally? — but he is part of the youth tradition now, destroying this young man at the Sixers Beach Bash event Saturday.
This summer Embiid has arm wrestled Justin Bieber and looked good working out in an empty gym, and to add to that list here is Embiid overpowering an average guy at Beach Bash then throwing it down. The man at least provided a little more resistance than a chair.
Despite the Warriors’ loss in the Finals, it’s been a good summer for Harrison Barnes. He signed a four-year, $94 million deal in Dallas and won a gold medal with Team USA at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. And maybe best of all, he got engaged on Saturday night, as he revealed on Twitter:
Congrats to Barnes and his new fiancée.
Shortly after winning a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers, veteran guard Mo Williams picked up his $2.2 million option for next season, choosing to take the guaranteed money on the table for him rather than test free agency at age 33. But he might not be with the Cavs this season — the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Joe Vardon reports that Williams is considering retiring from playing due to lingering knee problems, and the Cavaliers could waive him under the stretch provision in the coming days.
Williams, 33, a 13-year veteran and former All-Star who played a supporting role in the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship, is strongly considering retirement, multiple sources told cleveland.com.
From Williams’ side of this, he battled a left-knee issue for most of last season while playing in just 41 regular-season games, as his playing time dwindled once Irving returned from knee surgery and the coaching staff chose to stick with Matthew Dellavedova as Irving’s backup.
Sources said his balky knee, desire to coach — especially younger players and children — and the obvious chance to go out as a champion are weighing heavily upon him.
Vardon reports that the Cavs are considering stretching him before the August 31 deadline, but are holding off for now because they want to leave open the possibility of a trade with another team to take on his salary. Either way, it looks as though Williams is done after 13 seasons in the NBA.