It tells you just how badly LeBron James wanted to go home — or just how confident he is he can lead any team of decent players to a title — that LeBron chose a return to Cleveland without meeting coach David Blatt or GM David Griffin. Maybe a little of both.
But finally LeBron and Blatt with Griffin sat down and talked on Tuesday, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
LeBron James met with new Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and new general manager David Griffin in person for the first time Tuesday as he prepared for the upcoming season, sources told ESPN.com.
James had been busy promoting his brand and Nike, traveling to Brazil and China — all the while sticking to a Paleo diet and losing at least 10 pounds.
Blatt is a mystery to most stateside basketball fans. He was born in the United States and played at Princeton, but spent most of his coaching career in Europe where he had great success — he won the EuroLeague title with Maccabi Tel Aviv — and became known as an offensive genius.
With LeBron, Kyrie Irving and likely Kevin Love in the fold, he’s got a lot of talent to work with.
Speaking with Blatt in Las Vegas during Summer league, he said he wants is an offense that is unpredictable in the way the Princeton offense is unpredictable, or the triangle, or what the Spurs are doing now.
“Without question, we have some really good and intelligent players,” Blatt told ProBasketballTalk. “That will allow us to be a lot more read oriented then specific play oriented.”
“I have a big job to figure out the best way for us to play and utilize the many, many possibilities that are now at our disposal…” Blatt said in a different interview in Vegas. “There are a lot of possibilities and factors to be considered in building a team with guys that really want to play and want to play right.”
It’s likely Blatt and LeBron talked some offensive philosophy, and more importantly defensive philosophy. With this roster the Cavaliers are going to score points, it’s how good they become at stopping teams that will decide how good they are and how far they go. Can they protect the paint with Anderson Varejao as center?
More likely, there was also a lot of talk of team building. LeBron wants to win now, he’s in legacy building mode, and with his short contract he has a lot of leverage. What he wants he gets. Starting with Love.
For Blatt and Griffin the leash will be short. LeBron has the power and Gilbert is not exactly the patient, build-a-culture-slowly kind of guy. They need to prove they can do the job called on them fast, or changes will come in.
That probably wasn’t discussed when everyone met Tuesday, but you can bet it was in the air.