Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt had an interesting quote Monday in response to being asked about facing criticism on the job, saying the number of decisions coaches make in games is "paralleled only by a fighter pilot."
After hitting a buzzer beater to give the Cavaliers an 86–84 win over the Chicago Bulls in Sunday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, LeBron James said he overruled Blatt's original play call coming out of a timeout. Blatt had wanted James to inbound the ball, James said.
"To be honest, the play that was drawn up, I scratched it," James told reporters. "I just told coach, 'Give me the ball.' We're either going to go to overtime or I'm going to win it for us. It was that simple.
"I was supposed to take the ball out," James continued. "I told coach, 'There's no way I'm taking the ball out, unless I can shoot it over the backboard and it goes in.' I told him, 'Have somebody else take the ball out, give me the ball, and everybody get out of the way.'"
On Monday, Blatt was asked about facing criticism on the job. Aside from season-long reports of tension within the Cavaliers, Blatt also was seen trying to call a timeout late in Sunday's game even though the Cavs were out of timeouts. The NBA said Monday that none of the referees saw Blatt's attempt to call a timeout, which would have drawn a technical foul against Cleveland.
"A basketball coach makes 150 to 200 critical decisions during the course of a game, something that I think is paralleled only by a fighter pilot," Blatt told reporters.
The series will return to Cleveland tied 2–2 for Game 5 on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
- Mike Fiammetta