LeBron James says he’s never ‘undermined a coach’
LeBron James railed against the notion that he’s a coach killer, saying that the criticism levied at him in the wake of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dismissal of head coach David Blatt “sucks.”
Blatt became the third coach to be fired by a team that featured James as its star player, with Paul Silas and Mike Brown being the other two. And with reports surfacing that suggest James played some role in Blatt’s firing, he is taking the stance that nothing he does is intended to sabotage a coach’s career or subvert his authority.
“But what can I do about it? I’ve never, in my time since I picked up a basketball, ever undermined a coach, ever disrespected a coach,” James said at Wednesday morning’s shootaround, via Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Joe Vardon.
James and Blatt never seemed to be on the same page and it often appeared that a player — albeit a superstar one with a high basketball I.Q. — was running the show in Cleveland instead of the coach.
But James argues that wasn’t necessarily the case and cited his savvy on the court as the reason he feels obligated to go about his business in such a manner. He added he’s handled things in such a way throughout his career, regardless of who was his coach, whether it be Blatt, Silas, Brown, Erik Spoelstra and will continue to do so with Tyronn Lue.
“What do you guys want me to do, turn my brain off because I have a huge basketball IQ? If that’s what they want me to do, I’m not going to do it because I’ve got so much to give to the game,” he said.
With Ranaan Katz, a limited partner of the Heat, saying recently that James attempted to get Spoelstra fired during his time in Miami, the Cavs star says it’s unfortunate that he has been labeled as a coach killer.
“I think it does suck that people want to throw my name in dirt for no particular reason, because of speculation or whatever the case may be,” he said.