Note To David Blatt: You’re Fired But You’re Free


The bad news is that David Blatt got fired. The good news is that David Blatt got fired. That’s it. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the best record in the Eastern Conference. Yes, they lost to the Golden State Warriors last June in six games, but LeBron almost won without Love and Irving. Go figure. So it figures that this season, with Love and Irving back, they would have another shot at the title.

David Blatt is a winning coach. That’s why it’s hard to understand and comprehend why a winning coach would get canned. In the middle of the season. Yes, there was that Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday holocaust of a loss against the Warriors, where the Cavs were down by as many as 43 points, but that was a blip on the screen and a glitch in the matrix, right?

Some are blaming LeBron. Whether LeBron had anything to do with the actual firing or not is not the issue. Directly, LeBron may not have been involved with Blatt’s ouster, but indirectly, it’s clear that LeBron had everything to do with it. Everyone on God’s green earth knows that LeBron, not Blatt, was running that team. The coach was the figure head. Consequently, Blatt was not in a win, win situation. Whatever he did, he had to please LeBron, and apparently, that wasn’t happening. And that’s why leaving for Blatt is better than staying.

Blatt had an 83-40 record with the Cavs, and his .675 winning percentage ranks seventh in NBA history. It is not unprecedented, however, for a coach with such an elite winning percentage to be fired.

The Mavericks let go of Avery Johnson after their first-round exit in the 2008 playoffs despite his 194-70 record in three-plus seasons, a .735 winning percentage that at the time was the best in NBA history. Johnson coached the Mavs to the 2006 Finals in his first full season as coach, but Dallas failed to close out that series after winning the first two games and lost in the first round the next two seasons. The Mavs replaced Johnson by hiring Carlisle, who was fired from his first head-coaching job after back-to-back 50-win seasons with the Pistons.

Carlisle, who signed a five-year contract extension earlier this season, said he wasn’t familiar with the internal workings of the Cavs and couldn’t comment about the cause of Blatt’s firing. He did speculate that Blatt actually could benefit from leaving Cleveland.

“The other side of it is, a good man perhaps has been liberated and is now going to have some great options,” Carlisle said. “He’ll find a much better situation here if he wishes to, and a guy like him deserves that.” Wow. What a statement.

So let’s learn the lesson that David Blatt’s firing teaches us. Let’s not get all bent out of shape when we get fired or furloughed. Let’s not despair when people delete us from and cancel us out and remove us off. Others may not want us around them anymore. But no worries.

If you’re safe and secure in what you know and what you believe then your firing is not a demotion but a promotion to a better and a bigger opportunity that’s tailored made just for you.

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