Working with the most dominant player in your sport at the height of his or her career is a gift and a curse.
On one hand, you experience the luxury of fielding a demigod. On the other, you'll occasionally find yourself contending with a star who commands as much respect from the team as you, if not more.
Such is the rub for David Blatt. The former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach is going through double growing pains in his first year as an NBA coach.
On top of adjusting to the league, he's working with a tossed-salad team of superstars including LeBron James, who appeared to commandeer the job of coach several times during Cleveland's 92-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday.
Staance.com NBA writer Jimmy Spencer (h/t John Ferensen of NextImpulseSports) posted some snippets of James engaging in the role of head coach/player during the game. You'll also notice Blatt, who's left to circle the perimeter of his timeouts like the small guy taping forks together at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Multiple times during the game Blatt found himself boxed out from the team. He just wanted someone to give him a chance and once had to apply a box-out move to get to the center of the huddle.
It's great to see James leading actively (as opposed to playing passive-aggressive ball), but Blatt is on the team payroll. His job description doesn't include passing game time with needlepoint and Royal Dansk.
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski pointed out in the aftermath of Cleveland's loss to the Spurs that the dynamic between James and Blatt is developing into something unique. He wrote that the two men are trying to run one team, and that the franchise's success hinges on whether they can come to an understanding on the group's direction.
"If James wants this to be a partnership, it'll be one," Wojnarowski wrote. "If not, it'll make success impossible for Blatt."
Give Blatt a second, LeBron. He's been watching the entire game and swears he has an idea or two.
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