CLEVELAND (AP) _ New Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue wants his former boss to be rewarded for what he did this season.
Lue said he would like to see David Blatt, who was fired on Friday by Cleveland despite a 30-11 record this season, coach the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game next month.
“I talked to (broadcaster and former coach) P.J. Carlesimo about it this morning and I told him I think coach Blatt should coach it,” Lue said before making his debut as a head coach Saturday night against Chicago. “The NBA has been trying to work around some different things for the All-Star Game and he’s done a great job here. We’re first in the East and I think it would be sweet if coach Blatt could coach the All-Star Game one last time.”
Blatt led the Cavs to the NBA Finals last season and had them atop the Eastern Conference this season. The coach and staff of the team with the best records in each conference _ following Jan. 31 games _ are supposed to lead their respective teams in the All-Star Game on Feb. 14 in Toronto.
Although it would be a nice gesture by Lue, it’s unlikely the league would allow a coach not employed to be on the sideline in the All-Star Game.
Lue said he’s willing to coach in the game if Blatt can’t.
“I’m open to do it because I think the rest of our staff deserves it,” he said. “We all put in hard work and we’ve all helped coach Blatt in every way we could and he was our leader. But if they wouldn’t let him do it, I think it’s deserving that our coaching staff should be able to do it.”
Cavaliers forward LeBron James was voted into his 12th All-Star Game earlier this week. It’s possible Cleveland’s Kevin Love will be added as a reserve.