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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James reacts while holding the Larry O’Brien trophy after defeating the Gold State Warriors to win the NBA Finals in Oakland, California, June 19, 2016. Beck Diefenbach/AFP/Getty Images
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David Blatt Gets Ring From Team That Became Champions Because They Fired Him

So, they’re friends with benefits now? Congenial exes?

by
Jonathan Zalman
October 06, 2016
Beck Diefenbach/AFP/Getty Images
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James reacts while holding the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Gold State Warriors to win the NBA Finals in Oakland, California, June 19, 2016. Beck Diefenbach/AFP/Getty Images

I get that breakups can be messy, and that we all, deep down inside, hope we’re able to make them mostly clean and cordial again, but this is one make-up I just don’t understand.

Basketball reporter David Pick reported this week that former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach and friend of Israel David Blatt has accepted a championship ring from his former team, which won the NBA title last season by defeating the Golden State Warriors. Recall, however, that Blatt was fired midseason while the team was sitting comfortably in first place. Then Tyronn Lue took over and the Cavs made an improbable comeback to win the championship and everybody cried, including, I imagine, David Blatt, who was probably weeping somewhere in Turkey, where he was coaching his new team, except his tears probably tasted much saltier. In short: The Cavs fired Blatt, gave the team over to LeBron James a likable assistant coach, and won a title.

I get that it’s nice to be nice and make up. And I get being an adult about things, and accepting a gift out of respect, especially one that acknowledges, “Hey, we couldn’t have done this without you,” a hattip of sorts to getting the team in good shape and getting them to come to practice and drawing decent x’s and o’s to get the ball to LeBron.

Except the Cavs did do it without Blatt.

And so in the case of the ring, I say, it’s too soon. Let the pain fester, David! It’ll feel better when you get hired by another NBA team, enabling you to exact some revenge on the Cavs a few times a year. Or yeah, take the ring, put it in a glass cubby somewhere, and tell people you earned it.

David Blatt confirms to me tonight that he accepted Cavaliers offer of championship ring. pic.twitter.com/5Y50qxWn3x



— David Pick (@IAmDPick) October 4, 2016

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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