BOSTON – It isn’t often that an NBA coach with a 30-11 record, as well as coming off a Finals appearance the season before, is fired, but the Friday news that Cleveland had moved on from David Blatt was just further evidence of how fragile coaching jobs have become.
“There’s all kinds of pressure in this league, whatever job you have,’’ Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “But when you take over a job where championship is what you’re shooting for and the way your roster is built, there’s always extra pressure, sure.’’
Hoiberg also called it a “tough day,’’ especially because of how Blatt treated him while Hoiberg was still at Iowa State last season.
“Yeah, such a good man,’’ Hoiberg said of Blatt. “Last year at Iowa State, he welcomed me to his training camp, and I went there, sat in his office. He talked to me, gave me film on a bunch of stuff. Just a really good person, and I think a helluva basketball coach. It’s a tough day. He was great to me when I got into this league, so it’s tough news.’’
Hoiberg said he really never had any interaction with Blatt before that, and that’s why the meeting was so memorable last season.
“Yeah, well I was there [in Cleveland] recruiting, so we stopped by, spent the day with him at training camp, and again he went out of his way to really show me a lot of the things that they were doing and had success with, and gave me DVDs,’’ Hoiberg said. “Just a really good man.’’
Coincidentally, the Bulls will travel to Cleveland for a Saturday night game, marking the debut of new Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.
Thibs will have to wait
The Cavaliers wasted very little time promoting Lue to the head coaching vacancy, quickly putting to rest the idea that former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau would be in the mix to coach LeBron James.
Multiple sources indicated late last season that with Thibodeau knowing his fate was already sealed, Cleveland was one of the places Thibodeau had interest in landing if there was a coaching change.