Cleveland Cavaliers fire coach David Blatt

David Blatt

David Blatt reacts after a call against Cleveland during a game against Golden State on Dec. 25.

(Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

LeBron James has a new coach.

The Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday fired coach David Blatt, who led the team to the NBA Finals last season and had the Cavaliers (30-11) atop the Eastern Conference standings this season.

Blatt’s replacement is Ty Lue, his top assistant, who agreed to a new contract to become the Cavaliers head coach, according to various reports. Lue is a former guard who played 11 seasons in the NBA, including 1998-2001 with the Lakers.

Blatt, 59, an Israeli American, was a successful coach in Israel and Russia before being hired by the Cavaliers in 2014. He was hired, though, before LeBron James agreed to return to Cleveland as a free agent.


Last season the Cavaliers got off to a slow start and there were widespread reports that James didn’t get along with his coach and that the superstar often overruled Blatt’s plays.

But the Cavaliers overcame injuries during the playoffs and reached the Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Even though the Cavaliers have been the most dominant team in the East, they lost both games this season against the Warriors, including a 34-point wipe-out loss in Cleveland on Monday.

Overall, Blatt had an 83-40 regular season record with the Cavaliers.