Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert went on the record publicly in May, shooting down a rumor and said that head coach David Blatt would be fired after this season no matter how far the Cavaliers advanced.
It was obviously complete nonsense, because if Cleveland ended up winning the title, making any sudden changes like that would be nearly impossible to envision.
But what about back in January?
Things were rough in Cleveland for a stretch, when the team went through a period of losing 10 of 12 contests. LeBron James was out during that time, of course, but it still could have been a reasonable time for panic to set in given the expectations.
Gilbert, however, says it was never something that was considered.
In an exclusive interview with Northeast Ohio Media Group, Cavaliers’ Owner Dan Gilbert said firing Blatt was never considered, and added that his confidence in his coach never wavered.
“It really didn’t,” Gilbert told NEOMG. “I don’t care what the expectations were, especially after we changed coaches twice in two years. This was a guy with a long-term record of success. You have to at least give a season, maybe more than just one. I think it would have destabilized the entire franchise and it would have been bad.”
This may be true, and it’s especially easy to say now that the Cavaliers have officially made it to the NBA Finals.
A lot of the reported unrest surrounding Blatt’s early-season performance could have been leaked to the media via players or agents who had various agendas for wanting a change to be made. But at least from ownership’s perspective, it never seemed to be a realistic possibility, and the patience was rewarded by Blatt finding a way to guide Cleveland to the championship round, despite the many obstacles that were in place.