Report: No Cavaliers veterans liked David Blatt

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Cavaliers general manager David Griffin tried to pin David Blatt’s firing on lackluster results on the court.

That’s a tough case considering Blatt guided Cleveland’s to last year’s NBA Finals and a 30-11 start this season.

So, what was it?

LeBron James, despite his denials and public statements, has received plenty of blame for Blatt’s dismissal. But he apparently wasn’t the only Cavalier down on Blatt.

Far from it.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

This is my 14th year covering the NBA. Before I covered the NBA, I covered colleges for a while, where I covered several coaches who went on to be relatively big-time coaches.

And on every team and every coach I’ve ever covered, I’ve never seen a coach dynamic with a team like I saw with David Blatt.

And I don’t know the way he handled the Russian national team. I don’t know the way he handled his teams in Greece. I don’t know how he handled his teams in Israel, in Russia, in Italy, everywhere else he went.

All I know is what I saw, and I saw a guy who completely was unable to get even a modicum of respect from a majority of his players.

And I also saw star players and veteran players – not just LeBron, OK. We know LeBron had issues with him. But basically any player that had any sort of veteran status in the league, more than Joe Harris and Matthew Dellavedova – all the veterans didn’t like him, either. He wasn’t able to win over about anybody.

Blatt clearly had a problem with how he spoke to people. Despite being a first-time NBA coach, he insisted at pointing out his vast experience at every turn. He thought that would get him respect that wasn’t coming from NBA veterans.

That’s on him.

LeBron also could’ve done more for Blatt. Players’ follow the star’s lead, and LeBron set the tone of undercutting Blatt. Teammates noticed. (They also noticed how Blatt responded, further eroding the coach’s standing.)

Of course, LeBron wasn’t obligated to defend Blatt to his teammates. LeBron can make his own judgments. If he didn’t believe in Blatt, LeBron didn’t need to carry the coach’s water.

Blatt had to earn that respect. It wasn’t – and shouldn’t have been given – just because he held the title of head coach. Players are increasingly and correctly asserting their own worth. A coach is just part of a collective trying to win – not a supreme leader to be feared and worshipped. LeBron, one of the most accomplished players in the league, understand that more than most.

He won’t have to deal with another LeBron, but this is a good lesson for Blatt if he wants to continue coaching in the NBA. He needs to reevaluate how he builds trust with players.

All NBA teams could also learn from this. How well a coach and players get along matters only so much. The Cavaliers were incredibly successful under Blatt, who did an alright job managing the action on the court. As long as there isn’t an outright mutiny – and Blatt avoided that – players’ talent reigns supreme.

But eventually, personalities matter, and it seems the Cavs just got tired of dealing with Blatt’s.

Reports: Knicks could make free agent run at Jamal Crawford

Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford gestures after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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If you like your sixth man to be an unconscious, fearless gunner who just wants to put up points and with that change the flow of the game, Jamal Crawford is your man.

The question is, will he be the Knicks’ man?

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year is a free agent this summer, and while Doc Rivers has talked about bringing him back to the Clippers, the Knicks might be in the mix, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

Finally, Jackson will turn his attention to building a supporting cast and one former Knick emerging as a viable option is Jamal Crawford, the NBA’s only three-time Sixth Man of Year. Crawford, 36, has strong support within the Knicks organization and that feeling appears to be mutual.

“I’m not talking about any one team but everyone knows how I feel about New York,” Crawford told The News. “I really enjoyed my time there.”

Crawford brings one of the best crossovers in the game, a streaky jump shot, 14 points a game last season, a love of pull-up jumpers, declining efficiency at age 36, and very little defense to the table. He’s the guy who had the ball in his hands for the Clippers when Chris Paul sat.

With Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony on the roster, is another ball-dominant scorer what the Knicks need? Maybe not in an ideal world, but what the Knicks really need is talent and Crawford brings that. The idea of Crawford returning to Madison Square Garden may not be the first one explored come July, but it’s not out of the question either, as the New York Post’s Marc Berman notes.

As always, it comes down to money — and more than just money, now many years does a team want to give 36-year-old Crawford?

It’s not likely, but a reunion between Crawford and the Knicks is certainly not out of the question.

NBA No. 1 draft pick Ben Simmons’ cousin killed in New Jersey hit-and-run

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23:  Ben Simmons walks on stage after being drafted first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — Family members say the cousin of Ben Simmons, who was picked first by the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA draft, has died after being struck by a car in a New Jersey neighborhood.

Twenty-one-year-old Zachary Simmons died after being struck early Saturday while crossing a street in Hoboken. Authorities say the sport utility vehicle that struck the Ramsey man fled the scene.

The victim’s mother, Monique Steele, told WCBS-TV her son had gone with Simmons to the NBA draft earlier in the week. She said he was walking back from a friend’s birthday party when he was struck and killed.

Ben Simmons posted this photo Saturday night on Twitter:

Police were still searching for the fleeing vehicle Saturday night.

Our thoughts are with the Simmons family.

Report: Sergio Rodriguez looking at NBA return, likely with Brooklyn

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: Sergio Rodriguez (R) of Real Madrid drives against Terry Roizer (L) of Boston Celtics during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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For four seasons, Sergio Rodriguez — AKA Spanish Chocolate — was a solid backup NBA point guard out of Spain, playing most of that for the Trail Blazers behind peak Brandon Roy.

But he decided he enjoyed playing in Europe more, and headed back overseas to play for Real Madrid, where he led them to a EuroLeague title and a Spanish League title.

Now he’s coming back to the NBA, and it looks like he’ll land in Brooklyn, according to the well-connected David Pick.

The Nets started Jarrett Jack at the point most of last season, but because of his knee issues they may not pick up the team option to keep him. After that, the talent level drops off fast with Shane Larkin and Donald Sloan. The Nets just drafted Caris LeVert out of Michigan, but he has plenty of questions to answer at the next level.

Rodriguez would be an upgrade — he’s a pass-first point who is strong running the pick-and-roll and is a reasonably efficient scorer. He doesn’t take a lot of threes (or jump shots in general) but as he’s gotten older he hits them at a better and better clip. He operates well in space. He’s not much of a defender. He’s a smart player with some flare to his game.

It will be fun to see him back in the league.

If you want proof Chandler Parsons will be “all ears” during free agency, he gave it

DENVER, CO - MARCH 06:  Chandler Parsons #25 of the Dallas Mavericks controls the ball against JaKarr Sampson #9 of the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on March 6, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 116-114 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Dallas is going after Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside in free agency. If they strike out with those two, then they say they are willing to talk to Chandler Parsons about coming back. But not at a max salary.

That’s not going to work; Parsons is likely going to get the max ($22 million for him). Yes, he is coming off his lowest-scoring season since his rookie year (13.7 per game), plus he only played in 61 games and sat out the end of the last two seasons due to troubling knee issues. But his versatile game (and the flood of money in the system this summer) has Orlando and other teams targeting Parsons.

Someone close to Parsons told ESPN “he’ll be all ears” listening to other offers.

Parsons confirmed that on Instagram Saturday.

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

The Chandler Parsons sweepstakes starts July 1.

(Hat tip Marc Stein ESPN)