Former Cavs Coach Reveals the Thing That Surprised Him the Most About LeBron James

Published 01/03/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Cavaliers forward LeBron James in action against the Clippers on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


LeBron James will go down in history as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, if not the greatest. While he is known for his supreme athleticism and durability, there’s more to his pedigree than meets the eye.

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Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt thinks that he is more than just a physical specimen. When ‘King James’ announced his return to Cleveland, Blatt knew he was getting a talented player. But what he could not anticipate was that he was getting the most intelligent player that he has ever coached, too.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) has words with head coach Tyronn Lue as guard Dwyane Wade (9) looks on on November 3, 2017 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)

In an exclusive interview with CLNS media, he revealed the thing that struck out the most about LeBron –

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“LeBron, for all of his incredible talents. I think he has the highest basketball IQ that I have ever seen.

“I’ll give you an example of what I mean. There are a few players and I’ve coached many in my career that you can teach plays to and then it will take you a number of repetitions or a number of days until guys really catch what they are supposed to do in whatever system or sequencing that you’re using.”

There are a very few guys, LeBron probably being the best of them, that can see what it is that you want to do… that speaks volumes for how intelligent of a basketball player he is.

LeBron James returning to Cleveland caught Blatt off guard

Cavs front-office hired David Blatt in 2014 after he made a name for himself in the EuroLeague. While he was focussing on building the team around Kyrie Irving, LeBron’s homecoming from Miami Heat shocked him.

“That was a pretty unexpected thing,” said Blatt.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) participates during a practice session before Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

“We were in the summer league. Maybe 2nd or the 3rd game. And they announced that LeBron had decided to come back to Cleveland.”

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 Blatt did not always see eye-to-eye with LeBron and other Cavs players

Though his honeymoon with the Cavaliers did not last so long. He was infamous for his ‘poorly timed’ timeout-calls and even calling them when they had none left. Everybody remembers that playoff game against Chicago where he was bailed out by LeBron.

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These instances ultimately proved to be his undoing, and he soon found himself on the wrong side of LeBron and the rest of the Cleveland players.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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