David Blatt finally admits his learning curve to NBA has been steep


Perhaps, no rookie head coach in NBA history has been more defensive of his résumé than David Blatt.

If Blatt saw that sentence, he’d probably make a point of mentioning he’s not a rookie head coach, that he has years of overseas experience.

At least he probably would have earlier in the season.

The Cavaliers coach has changed his tune about his NBA transition.

Blatt, via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

“The learning curve was greater than I thought it would be. It’s a lot of things on and off the court because the whole off-the-court picture of the NBA is so much more significant than it is in Europe that it’s almost undefinable and the on-the-court aspect, too, is very, very different.

“I know I said many times the game is the game. Well, it’s not. It’s different. It’s different in many, many ways.”

The Cavaliers’ performance on the court has shown Blatt is not completely stubbornly tied to his system. Cleveland’s offense is very different from the one Blatt wanted to run.

But there has been a perception – perhaps a fair one – LeBron James is driving the change, and Blatt is unwillingly going along. That has worked for now, but it’s not tenable.

It is tenable, though, if Blatt is willingly going along.

LeBron can be in charge. Superstars run the show in the NBA, and LeBron is the biggest star the league has. The key is Blatt working to support LeBron, and that works in the long run only if Blatt accepts his role.

I’m still not sure LeBron – not matter what he says publiclyhas completely bought in to Blatt yet. But the forward has bought in enough.

We’re not far removed from questions about Blatt’s job security. Win or lose in the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers will probably bring him back next season.

Blatt has grown throughout the playoffs, and this statement shows his evolved understanding of the NBA. I’m interested to see how he progresses from here.