Despite leading the Cavaliers to the 2015 NBA Finals, as well as the best record in the Eastern Conference this season, David Blatt got the boot in Cleveland late last week. And not surprisingly, his fellow coaches were pissed.
Soon after the news of Blatt’s firing broke, the likes of Stan Van Gundy and Rick Carlisle called the move an embarrassment to the league. And now you can add Gregg Popovich, dean of the NBA’s coaching fraternity, to that chorus of disapproval. Of course, Pop did it with his customary dose of snark – and immediately after his San Antonio Spurs were routed by the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
“I’m just glad my general manager wasn’t in the locker room,” Popovich joked. “I might have gotten fired.”
That’s a reference to something Cavs GM David Griffin said when discussing Blatt’s removal at a press conference on Friday – and it was probably the highlight of the night if you were a Spurs fan. The Warriors turned the most-anticipated matchup of the NBA season into an absolute laugher, cruising to a 30-point victory over their closest competitors in the Western Conference. But, hey, at least the blowout gave Popovich the perfect platform to throw shade at the Cavaliers for their hasty decision.
That’s a double zing, really, since the Cavaliers lost by 34 points to the Warriors four days before Blatt was fired. The Spurs wouldn’t ever think about parting ways with Popovich – when he eventually leaves the NBA, it will be on his own terms – but that makes his message extra loud and clear.