The Cavs Are Such A Mess That One Report Says Players Are Running Their Own Plays And Assistant Coach Tyronn Lue Is Calling Timeouts Behind David Blatt's Back



(Source) When the casinos were making the Cavs the favorites to win the title last summer, the idea of a prop bet that the Cavs would be under .500 39 games into the season was so ridiculous, no sports book would’ve taken action. You’d have had a difficult time getting anyone to take such a bet even if they were a pessimist who was a Miami Heat fan who just wanted to make a self-gratifying revenge wager. It isn’t just the casinos that are agape at how this is playing out — the Cavs were 4-15 in their past 19 games against the spread coming in to Tuesday — so are league scouts, executives and rival players.

They see players appearing to run different plays than the bench calls, see assistant coach Tyronn Lue calling timeouts literally behind Blatt’s back during games, and hear Cavs players openly talking about coaching issues with opposing players and personnel. Not once, not twice, but frequently over the past several months. For weeks now, the small talk when league personnel run into each other at college games, airports or pregame meals has frequently started with: “What the hell is going on in Cleveland?”

Griffin and the Cavs media relations staff have been run ragged attempting to manage all of it. Griffin has been slapping Band-Aids on everything from intrateam relationships to his roster while dealing with what now seem like impossible expectations. All with half his team on stress-inducing, one-year contracts while working for an owner who chews through executives and coaches on a regular basis. There is a common perception that James is the de facto general manager of the team. His role in getting Love traded to the Cavs in July and talking Mike Miller, among others, into signing in Cleveland only bolstered that. But over the past few months, the Cavs didn’t come to terms on a contract extension with Tristan Thompson, who is close to James and represented by the same agent, and then issued a strong public backing of Blatt despite what has been an obvious disconnect with veteran players, including James.


 It was no doubt meant to take some media pressure off the struggling first-year coach, but also was a message to the players that any passive-aggressive coups in progress would be fruitless and needed to cease. It was also a pretty strong message that, no, James may run the plays he wants and play the position he wants, but he isn’t running the franchise. Plenty of James’ quotes in recent weeks have been parsed, both by the media and by the team. But one seems to burn true, when he said: “I don’t pay no bills around here; listen man, I play.”

Meanwhile, the Love situation continues to befuddle. In the preseason there was a little bobble when Love complained about not getting the ball as much, but after that he’s said nothing but team-supportive things. That includes Tuesday night after Blatt decided to play James Jones ahead of him. “If you told me I was going to sit out the fourth quarter, maybe I would have thought it would have been tough. But we had a great rhythm going,” Love said. “I thought the group that we had out there was doing a great job of getting us back into the basketball game, and more than anything, they gave us a shot.”




This is incredible. I always hoped the Cavs would somehow suck but this turmoil and failure is truly incredible. Players openly trashing their coach to other players around the league. Guys calling their own plays, assistant coach’s doing whatever the fuck they want, Kevin Love, who is a perennial All-Star, sitting out in the 4th quarter, just complete and utter chaos. And honestly, I feel bad for David Blatt. This will probably be his only chance as an NBA coach and it really was never a chance to begin with because this is what happens when you give a player all the power. When Dan Gilbert basically bent over backwards for Lebron and handed him everything, something I understand he had to do, all of this was put into motion. When you let a guy go straight to the top over the GM and coach’s head, you get this level of dysfunction. Just look at the Washington Redskins, a large part of their mess is rooted in the fact that Robert Griffin can walk into Dan Snyder’s office whenever he wants. And that was the point of my blog yesterday about Lebron at the National Championship game or Lebron saying “He doesn’t pay bills, he just plays”. Lebron is the de facto GM, leader of the team, and coach, but he wants to do all of those things when it’s convenient to him. When things get tough he can simply say, “I just play basketball”.  It’s the exact opposite way you build a team. Once you let Lebron walk all over everyone, why in the world would anyone else respect the Coach or GM?




Also, all of this dysfunction just further proves how great Pat Riley is. That’s the type of guy you need in charge. You think Lebron would ever step to Riles? Hell no. If you don’t have a strong personality in the front office players get to do whatever they want. As a fan of the 2014 Chicago Bears I know this all too well.