A lot of people understand why the Cavaliers fired David Blatt.
Not as many understand why they fired Blatt to promote Tyronn Lue.
If Blatt wasn’t experienced enough to lead a championship contender, what was Lue, who had no head-coaching experience?
It seems the Cavs took the idea of replacing Blatt with a proven coach seriously. They just didn’t choose one.
Had the team made a coaching change last summer, a league source told ESPN.com, there would have been heavy consideration for Tom Thibodeau. But 41 games into the season, after witnessing Lue continue to straddle the nearly impossible line of being a loyal assistant to Blatt while growing organic connections to the team’s stars, management felt there was no one else more qualified to take the team where it wanted to go.
Thibodeau is still available. If the Cavaliers wanted him, they probably could’ve gotten him. I imagine coaching a championship contender would’ve appealed strongly to the former Bulls coach.
But considering Thibodeau was enough. If Cleveland gave Lue the job just because he was there, that would’ve been a mistake. If Cleveland considered a range of candidates – including proven commodities like Thibodeau – and chose Lue, that’s far more encouraging.