The two head coaches for the NBA All-Star Game have been chosen: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will coach the Western Conference and Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers will coach the Eastern Conference.
The two head coaches are picked from the teams with the best records in each conference two weeks before the All-Star Game. This year Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, the team with the best record in the NBA, is ineligible because he coached the West last year, so the honor falls to Popovich. His team has the second best record in the NBA.
The controversy is that just three games into being a head coach Lue is the All-Star coach. He was handed the position of head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers after David Blatt was fired January 22, 2016. That in itself was a controversial decision by Cavaliers management because Cleveland had the best record in the East.
It’s also been heavily rumored that LeBron James was instrumental in Blatt’s firing, an allegation James and the rest of the Cavaliers deny. But it’s been no secret James and Blatt didn’t get along.
After a stinging 34-point loss to the Golden State Warriors, the second time this season the Warriors beat the Cavaliers, general manager David Griffin said during a press conference, “When you have the clarity of purpose that we have as a franchise, these decisions make themselves.”
After the loss to the Warriors on January 18, Blatt said, “… this team is in pretty good position …” considering they were still the odds-on favorites to win the East and go to the NBA Finals.
When David Griffin announced Blatt had been fired, he said, “Pretty good isn’t good enough.”
Still, it seemed odd — at the very least — that a successful coach, on a very successful team, was being fired.
On Friday, January 22, 2016, when the San Antonio Spurs met the Los Angeles Lakers for a game at Staples Center, the head coaches, Gregg Popovich and Byron Scott of the Lakers, were asked about Blatt’s departure from the Cavaliers. Our sports reporter, Claudia Gestro, was covering the game and recorded their pre-game comments on Blatt and the Cavaliers. Her video is below, as well as her review of the game that night.
Claudia Gestro contributed to this article.
Top photo: Gregg Popovich (L) and Tyronn Lue (R)
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