LeBron James of the Miami Heat during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 26, 2014. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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David Blatt to Coach LeBron James in Cleveland

Former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach wins big with NBA star’s return to Cavaliers

by
Stephanie Butnick
July 11, 2014
LeBron James of the Miami Heat during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 26, 2014. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“Mr. @KingJames meet Coach Blatt,” tweeted the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team earlier today, referencing NBA star Lebron James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers after four seasons with the Miami Heat.

While the news is good for Cavs fans (except for the ones who burned their James jerseys in 2010 when the megastar announced he was decamping for sunny Miami after seven seasons in Cleveland), the real winner here is David Blatt, the former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach who signed on as Cavs head coach last month.

It might not be all smooth sailing for LeBron and Blatt, though. As Raphael Gellar wrote last month, Blatt is known for shaking up the bench. “He likes to rotate his bench and divide minutes among his star players,” Gellar wrote.

Still, there’s hope for the duo yet. As Gellar noted, Blatt “adapts his style of basketball to whichever team he is coaching.” And now he’s coaching King James’ team.

Regardless, today’s big winner is Cleveland—and David Blatt.

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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