The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly held a players-only meeting after former head coach David Blatt was fired last month, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love led the hour-long meeting, which followed GM David Griffin informing the team of the decision to fire Blatt and promote Tyronn Lue. From Windhorst and Lowe:
A central issue in the discussion, sources said, was the need for accountability within the team. One of the issues that was keeping the team from enjoying some of the successes of the season was the different set of rules for some players compared to others.
In what could turn out to be a key moment in their tenures together, James, Irving and Love came to an understanding that they needed to police each other on certain matters and use their influence within the team to set a standard for accountability, sources said. That was frequently a missing component over the past season and a half, sometimes creating friction.
Sources told ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin that James, Irving and Love led the conversation, owning up to personal faults and using the open forum to express what they expected out of their teammates.
“It was like ripping off a scab,” one team source told Windhorst and Lowe. “And it was exactly what needed to happen. I think it was what [Griffin] was hoping for.”
“It was very healthy for the team,” another source told Windhorst and Lowe. “It probably needed to happen weeks ago.”
Since Blatt was fired, the Cavaliers are 4-1, including a 14-point win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. And Love, who some argued Blatt was not using properly, is fitting in. He’s averaging 23.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in the last three games for Cleveland.
Windhorst and Lowe added: “In both wins over the weekend, James, Irving and Love each scored more than 20 points, the first two times that has happened this season.”
Maybe the players-only meeting is to thank, but so is Lue, who is understanding how to use his superstars unlike Blatt.