(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
David Blatt has no doubt he will still be the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers at the start of next season and insisted on Saturday that he has a good relationship with superstar LeBron James.
Blatt held his first press conference in Israel on Saturday since announcing he will be leaving for the NBA last summer and spoke about his experiences over the past year.
Cleveland’s season ended earlier this month with a 4-2 defeat to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals. However, after opening 2014/15 with a 19-20 record, and with Blatt’s job reportedly in jeopardy, Cleveland turned its season around, storming to the Eastern Conference title despite losing All-Star Kevin Love in the first round of the playoffs.
The Cavs also gave the Warriors a run for their money, even after All-Star Kyrie Irving went down in Game 1 of the Finals.
“I’m happy and proud of what we achieved in our first season,” said Blatt. “It gives us a lot of confidence and motivation to come back next year and take one more step towards our goal.
“Of course I will continue in Cleveland, there is no question,” added Blatt. “For me this was a fantastic, interesting and challenging year.
I learned a lot and I feel that I needed this year to become a part of the best league in the world. I will be a lot more comfortable next season as well as a better coach.”
Blatt admitted that he and James don’t always see eye to eye, but said that their relationship has developed with time.
“I have a good relationship with him,” claimed Blatt. “We went through a process. It took us time to get to know each other. We learned how to work together the best way possible.
When you work with a star of that magnitude the relationship is slightly different. It isn’t like with any other player. I learned from this process. We both want the same thing, but don’t always agree about everything.
Our relationship will only continue to improve as we continue to work together.
Things aren’t always smooth, but I’m not competing against him, I’m working with him.”