Ok, Now What

blattbron

By Stefan Anderson

Coming off an impressive win against the Los Angeles Clippers and showing signs of the alpha dog in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to make a huge change mid-season. After winning 10 of their last 12 games, only losing to the two best teams in the NBA, the Spurs and the Warriors, the axe has come down former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt.

Blatt, had to face the news of his firing on his day off, in what seemed to be the coming for a long time. Monday evening’s 132-98 massacre with Golden State might have been the last stop on the Blatt train but is one that doesn’t seem as farfetched.

From blatant disrespect from the league’s premier star and Cleveland’s prize possession Lebron James, after subbing himself mid-game during a match with Atlanta, calling his own audible on set plays and most recently sitting in Blatt’s chair on the bench, the message was clear that whatever the king says goes.

Although he coached Cleveland to a finals matchup with Golden State even capturing two game with a diminished roster to choose from. To then returning to having the best record in the East sitting 30-11, was still not enough to satisfy King James.

But this is very similar a former star who James’ game emulates after, Magic Johnson.

Johnson grew frustrated with his head coach at the time Paul Westhead during the 1981 season, similar to James, Magic also had his franchise in his palms and ultimately had Westhead removed from his position.

Luckily for the Lakers, there was an assistant by the name of Pat Riley, who stepped in and carried the torch to what we know now as the “Showtime” Lakers. Tyron Lue, will now step in as Cleveland head after five years of being an assistant for Boston, Los Angeles and Cleveland to help restore faith for the Cavs. Lue, as a player was coached by Phil Jackson and is under the coaching tree of former Celtics and current Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, and has the knowledge that can help lead the Cavs to the promise land.

The promise land won’t easy for the Land.

The Cavs have bigger fish to fry. Cleveland although remain on top of the East will have to win against either San Antonio or Golden State to win a championship. With the inconsistency of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love it will be a tough feat. The huge difference between Cleveland and the other top tier teams is depth and bench production.

San Antonio is 1st in bench efficiency; Golden State is 3rd and Cleveland ranks 24th, with the bench only accounting for 28.2 points a game. The Cavs will need the supporting cast step up or find pieces to help bolster their bench. Irving has missed 42 games over the past 3 season and has yet to play a full 82-game season in his short career, Love is currently battling an “undisclosed” injury, Iman Shumpert has only appeared in 19 games and Mo Williams has not played effective minutes in months. Once again, leaving the load on James to carry Cleveland once again.

Lue can be the solution for Cleveland, but their roster has to make some important changes that can that make sense of the 109 million dollar payroll. The overall goal has to be restore the relationships lost with Blatt and make your superstar, Lebron James, job a lot easier.

 

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Sterling Silver

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By Maceo Lester 

If you haven’t heard the disgusting racist comments made by Los Angles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, you must be living under a rock. People of all ages and races have been stirred up by Sterling’s controversial remarks. A highly competitive and intense NBA post-season has been abruptly disrupted by offensive comments such as “Don’t bring black people to my games….don’t have black people on your Instagram.” Those statements were made during a recorded conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano [Maria Vanessa Perez.] Stiviano made a simple Instagram post as many of us frequently do in our spare time. Stiviano’s post just happened to be picture of her and NBA hall-of-famer Magic Johnson, someone who Stiviano says she “admires.” Sterling? Not so much, he doesn’t seem to favor Magic or any black people for that matter.

            “Why are taking pictures with minorities?,” Sterling ask. “There’s a culture, people feel certain things. Hispanics feel certain things towards Blacks, Blacks feel certain things towards other groups. It’s been that way historically, and it will always be that way.” With this type of mentality, it is easy to assume that Sterling has been raised or has grown to be segregated from other races. The irony of it all, he owns an NBA team. The NBA consists of the most African-American athletes out of all the four major sports. Los Angeles, California is highly populated with Blacks. Doc Rivers, the Clippers head coach oh yeah, he’s black too. Chris Paul, their starting point guard and president of the NBA Players Union, you guess it, he happens to be Black too. So let’s put this all in perspective, this man is willing to take part and have ownership in a nearly all-black league, allow black coaches on the staff, and black players on the team. Not to mention, ALL of the blacks who work for or within the franchise. Let’s not forget about the black fans, the backbone of your franchise Mr. Sterling, they might not all have floor seats but they’re ensuring sold out arenas.

           Enough with Sterling’s ill-advised statements, it’s evident that he has racist beliefs and prejudices.  He is afraid that his image or reputation will be tarnished if he is associated with, interacting with, or even taking pictures with Blacks if it’s not basketball-related or making him money. The focus now turns to NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver.  Silver is extremely new to his commissioner position, taking over the duties of his predecessor Donald Stern. Roughly three months into his tenure, Silver is faced with an extremely difficult task. Many players, and former players have let their voices be heard on this topic via social media, and sports media. It’s obvious that the NBA community and others desire harsh punishment for Sterling. Many believe he should be stripped from his team ownership, kicked out of the league. Several sponsors who partnered with the Clippers organization have already pulled the plug on their contracts. With such a controversial topic at hand, the discipline must be aggressive. If not, this will be an ongoing problem with hundreds of protestors taking to the streets.  This is bigger than basketball; it’s bigger than the NBA, bigger than the Clippers. In this monumental event, Silver must be tough, he must be strategic, Silver…must be gold.