Cavs GM says team lacked championship culture under David Blatt

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CLEVELAND-- The Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt on Friday and replaced him with assistant coach Ty Lue.

David BlattBlatt came to Cleveland in 2014 after coaching Maccabi Tel Aviv for four years. Last season, he led the Cavaliers to an appearance in the NBA Finals.

"I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers," Blatt said in a statement released through Priority Sports on Twitter.

The Cavs are 30-11 this season with a 115-102 win over the Clippers Thursday night. Blatt becomes the first NBA head coach to be sacked while his team has the best record in the conference.

**click here to see a timeline of Blatt's career with the Cavs**

"I'd like to thank Dan Gilbert and David Griffin for giving me this opportunity and am honored to have worked with an amazing group of players from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love through our entire roster. I'd also like to express my extreme gratitude to my coaching staff. I am indebted to them for their professionalism, hard work, loyalty and friendship. I am proud of what we have accomplished since I have head the head coach and wish the Cavaliers nothing but the beset this season and beyond," Blatt said.

Cavs general manager David Griffin said Blatt, Lue and the team were notified of the changes Friday afternoon. He said he did not discuss it with any players, including LeBron James, prior to making the decision.

"LeBron doesn't run this organization. He is about this organization and of this organization... This narrative that we're taking direction from him is not fair to him," Griffin said.

He told reporters he makes every decision by answering the question: Are we doing everything we can to bring championships to Northeast Ohio?

David Griffin“I’m measuring more than wins and losses,” Griffin said. “Are we building a championship culture?”

The GM said the team lacks a collective spirit and he is trying to right the ship mid-season. Griffin told the media players were surprised by Blatt's firing, but handled it "very business-like."

More Cavs stories here

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