First off, our own Robert Attenweiler wrote a fantastic piece this morning for our parent TrueHoop network, “Wait for the drop,” which compared being a Cavs fan over the last few years to riding the Demon Drop at Cedar point, except without “the part that sounds like any fun.”
When most fan bases would be ecstatic to win the top pick in arguably the most stocked draft in years, it’s not a shock that Cleveland fans, rather than high-fiving their way toward a rack of Andrew Wiggins jerseys, found themselves stuck in a moment of anxiety-riddled silence before finally muttering to their friends, “They’d better not screw this up.”…
As if that weren’t enough, the Cavaliers held a press conference this afternoon to introduce David Blatt as Head Coach. Watch it here, and check out the quotable bullets below.
- “I am not an offensive or a defensive coach. I’m a basketball coach.”
- “Make no mistake. I have won everywhere I’ve been. From Maccabi through Benneton to the Russian national team and back through. Maccabi. And I plan on doing the same here, and hope to have all of your help.”
- On coaching in Europe versus coaching in the NBA. “If you play the game right, it doesn’t matter where you play it.”
- On what made him want to return to the NBA. “I sort of came to the point of my career where I felt I had accomplished — together with others, of course — just about all I could. Growing up as I did with a transistor radio stuck to my ear hearing Johnny Most do broadcasts. I kind of had that NBA dream in my ear and in my heart… I’m lucky and fortunate that the great people of Cleveland have decided that I’m the one to make the jump and I know that I’m going to pay them back with interest.”
- “How do you deal with the egos of the players in the NBA and all that? I don’t buy that. I’ve had wonderful discussions with the players from the Cleveland Cavaliers. And I find a group of guys that want to be coached. That want to learn. That care about and have to emphasize with them and I have to strengthen. I’ve coached enough great players in my life to know that when guys are happy playing together and are seeing what doing it the right way brings them — fosters the spirit you need to win. It doesn’t make a difference where you’re coaching.”
- On the Cavs Roster, “The guys that I see now are talented, and are not that far off from being where we want them to be, which is a winning team that’s thinking about going the furthest — not settling for a better season or a little bit of progress.”
- On Tyron Lue and rounding out his staff. “I like to start things off with a bang and I think we did that…”
- On his philosophy as a coach. “Play hard. Play together. Play to win. And Have fun… There’s two kinds of coaches. There’s systematic, and then there’s learning from what you have. I’m more of the second… I’m going to see what I have. I’m going to decide with the coaching staff what the best way for us to play is.”
- “The ball has energy, particularly moving fast. Everybody’s involved and everybody’s happy, and the game is easier to play.”
- On luring free agents. “Developing relationships is more about the person that you are than the reputation that you have… Am I the most convincing guy in the world? Probably top four [laughter ensues]… I’ve always had the kind of relationships with my players where they know that I’m going to be tough with them. I’m going to be fair with them. But I’m going to treat them like human beings, just like I want to be treated.”
- On coaching a national team like Maccabi, “That is true myopia, my friend [to Fred McCloud]. I worked at Maccabi Tel Aviv. You cannot imagine the pressure of working there. Where you don’t win by 20, it’s like you lost…”
- On Parker or Wiggins, “Anthony Parker. I took him once. So did the Cavs, and it worked great in both places.”
Justin Rowan at FearTheSword has a nice interview with David Pick, senior correspondent at Eurobasket.com, on Blatt. We’ve heard all about Blatt’s strengths, but what are his weaknesses?
Weaknesses? Sometimes his attention span for players is short and he goes to shorter rotations. Causes guys to lose confidence.
There’s another interesting interview that Pick did with Blatt on May 18th, here.
In other news…
Cleveland pushed on deal centered on No. 1 pick for Kevin Love, but his refusal to re-sign w/ Cavs has killed talks, sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2014
And the reports are that the Cavs are leaning towards Wiggins.
Shaping up as 1. Wiggins 2. Pizza Man
— WayneEmbrysKids (@WayneEmbrysKids) June 25, 2014
— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) June 25, 2014
Update: Just to drive us all a little crazier…
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 25, 2014
the trade down for Exum is in play
— Ben Cox (@WFNYBen) June 25, 2014
If it’s any consolation, Chad Ford, on the BS Report said that one NBA GM referred to Exum as, “the closest that I’ve seen to a young Kobe Bryant.” So there’s that.