People were talking about LeBron James acting as a player-coach throughout the playoffs. Many were joking, but James reportedly took that role too seriously.
ESPN‘s Marc Stein wrote about how much James was bossing head coach David Blatt during their losing effort in the Finals. His report erred more toward cruelty than leadership: “we likewise saw LeBron emasculate Blatt in ways that are simply unbecoming of a player of James’ legend-in-the-making stature.”
James basically did a lot of the things Coach Blatt is paid to do: call timeouts, make substitutions and make up plays. He even barked at his own head coach. Stein also recounted a silent scolding.
There was LeBron, in one instance I witnessed from right behind the bench, shaking his head vociferously in protest after one play Blatt drew up in the third quarter of Game 5, amounting to the loudest nonverbal scolding you could imagine.
There were no such stories when it came to all-time greats like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, although they both shared a highly regarded head coach in Phil Jackson (plus, who could forget the Death Stare). Regardless, even though this was David Blatt‘s first year as head coach, he’s still the head coach.
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