J.R. Smith on David Blatt’s firing: It was shocking to me

0:54 | NBA
J.R. Smith on David Blatt's firing: Someboday will give him a shot
Tuesday February 2nd, 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith said Monday that former head coach David Blatt’s firing was shocking to him, reports ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“I was shocked,” Smith said. “I haven’t been a part of that many first place teams. That’s just something you wouldn’t think about, the coach being fired. It was kind of shocking to me.”

Blatt was fired on Jan. 22 despite leading the Cavaliers to a 30–11 record and the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

• JENKINS: High drama, high stakes: Cavs fire Blatt with NBA title in mind

Smith went on to call his former coach “a great person” and said that he believes Blatt’s coaching run in the NBA is not over.

“I mean, I think he’s a good coach,” Smith said. “I think he has an opportunity to get another job somewhere. I think somebody will give him a shot given the circumstances. I think before he took the [Cleveland] job, it was pretty much he was going to coach a different team until LeBron [James] and Kev [Love] and everybody came to the situation.”

WOO: Cavs show off their potential with a comfortable Kevin Love

After the firing, Cleveland replaced Blatt with former assistant coach Tyronn Lue.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.