The Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt because "pretty good" wasn't good enough. That's what Cavs general manager David Griffin said at a press conference announcing the firing of Blatt on Friday afternoon. The coach led his team to the NBA Finals in his first season and had them back on top of the Eastern Conference in year two.
Following Monday's 34-point loss to the Golden State Warriors in a Finals rematch, Blatt said Cleveland was still in a "pretty good" position. Blatt coached two more games for Cleveland, wins over the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers, before being dismissed Friday with a 30-11 record this season that had Cleveland as the No. 1 seed in the East.
Griffin did not hold back when asked why was Blatt was fired.
Despite playing much of this season without star point guard Kyrie Irving, the Cavs were still 17-4 since Dec. 8 and the heavy favorite to reach the NBA Finals once again. Griffin said the Cavs didn't think that was a reason to be satisfied.
Griff on stability of rest of staff: "I feel like we won’t miss a whole lot, but we’ll gain a lot in areas that are critical to us."— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) January 22, 2016
David Griffin reading off a statement: "When you have the clarity of purpose that we have as a franchise, these decisions make themselves"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 22, 2016
David Griffin: "I'm not leaving an unprecedented team payroll to chance"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 22, 2016
Griffin also said LeBron James had nothing to do with Blatt's firing. Griffin said "LeBron [James] doesn't run this organization," and added "this narrative that we're somehow taking direction from him isn't fair."
While Griffin did confirm that former assistant Tyronn Lue is the Cavs' new head coach, he denied a Yahoo! report that Lue had signed a three-year contract worth at least $9.5 million. Griffin did add that Lue won't have the interim label as head coach.
Cleveland faces the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.