Fire David Blatt! The Cavaliers Coach Needs To Go

2015-05-13 by Ronn Torossian

Coach David Blatt Fire


In the NBA, as in many other major league sports, superstar players hold a great deal of influence. It is especially true when the player happens to be considered almost as gifted in his intellectual and strategic abilities associated with basketball as he is for his athletic prowess. So when you’ve got such a player in frequent conflict with the head coach about strategy, you can guess who the winner will be. You can also guess the winner when your star player refuses to run plays as the coach calls them. That’s a serious problem.

LeBron James, one of the greatest NBA players ever is a force to be reckoned with and Blatt’s staying power is not in his own hands. Whether Blatt stays or goes will probably depend strongly on LeBron’s recommendations and feelings over the next couple of months.

One problem that Blatt has had is that prior to coming to the Cav’s team, he was a coach in Europe which uses the international rules, as opposed to the American rules. The change in rules factors into international competitions for American teams too when they participate in events like the Olympics. But Blatt is on US soil and has managed to make some rather public mistakes because of these differences.

To be fair, when Blatt was hired, LeBron had not made any serious statements about his desire to return home and play for the Cavs. So Blatt was hired with the idea that he had a young team with very little expectations about playoffs in the first year. His job was to train and nurture that team for a potential in the future. Being in the playoffs was not even considered. Then LeBron’s decision changed everything. There was no learning curve for Blatt from that point forward.

During the recent playoffs, LeBron publicly discussed several disagreements about how to handle certain plays, resulting in LeBron calling the shots. He also was not shy about sharing those events. So will Blatt stay, or will he go? Whatever the decision, LeBron will probably have a sizeable say though the NBA is unlikely to shift LeBron’s influence about the decision away from him.

When you are lucky enough to have a player like LeBron James on your team, you do your best to keep him focused on his game rather than worrying about policies or politics. If he feels the need to take over coaching decisions, it is a big indicator the coach is not a good fit.

From a Public Relations perspective, it is clear that David Blatt should not be coaching the Cavs next fall.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities