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Cavaliers Fire David Blatt, Tyronn Lue Signs Multiyear Contract: 5 Things

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Cavaliers Fire David Blatt, Tyronn Lue Signs Multiyear Contract: 5 Things

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach David Blatt Friday, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. CBS Sports NBA Insider Ken Berger confirmed the news. The move comes just four days after the Cavaliers were blown out by the Golden State Warriors in an embarrassing performance Monday night, and amid questions that the Cavaliers were simply not equipped to compete for a title with a star-laden roster.

Blatt had been hired prior to LeBron James’ decision to rejoin the team in free agency last summer, and was praised as an “offensive genius” coming in, yet the team consistently lacked a strong offensive scheme and primarily relied upon isolation play from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. There had been concerns since the tough start of last year that Blatt lacked the support of the locker room.

Blatt released the following statement:

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’d like to thank Dan Gilbert and David Griffin for giving me this opportunity and am honored to have worked with an amazing group of players from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love through the entire roster. I’d also like to express my extreme gratitude to my coaching staff. I am indebted to them for their professionalism, hard work, loyalty and friendship. I am proud of what we have accomplished since I have been the Head Coach and wish the Cavaliers nothing but the best this season and beyond.”

The Cavs also released a statement:

Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today that David Blatt has been released from his duties as head coach. Associate Head Coach Tyronn Lue has been named Head Coach. The current Cavaliers assistant coaches and staff remain under contract and will continue working with the team.

“On behalf of the organization, I would like to thank David Blatt for his efforts and commitment to this franchise,” said Griffin. “He spent the last year and a half battling intense scrutiny, working to mold a very willful group and we all recognize that is not at all an easy task.”

“But with that said, when you have the clarity of purpose that our ownership has instilled in this entire organization, decisions often make themselves. Every decision made is an answer to the following question: does it put us in the best position to deliver Championships to Northeast, Ohio.”

“So, today, we are elevating Tyronn Lue, from his role as Associate Head Coach to Head Coach. I am more than confident that he will have the pulse of our team and the buy-in required to enhance the habits and culture that will foster the kind of identity and results we must have.”

Blatt was named the 19th head coach in Cavaliers history on June 20, 2014. During his one and half seasons as head coach, Blatt compiled a regular season record of 83-40 and a 14-6 mark in last year’s playoffs.

“Over the course of my business career I have learned that sometimes the hardest thing to do is also the right thing to do,” said Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner of the Cavaliers. “Our ownership group supports David Griffin’s decision. We would like to thank David Blatt for his work over these past two seasons where the Cavaliers transformed into a playoff team after a rebuilding phase. We believe Tyronn Lue is the right coach at the right time to put us in the best position to take the last but most challenging step to complete our mission to deliver Cleveland an NBA Championship.”

Per Berger, Tyronn Lue will take over as coach on a multi-year deal. Here’s what you need to know about the decision to fire Blatt:

1. This decision was coming for a long time: The worst kept secret in Cleveland was that the players did not have David Blatt’s back. There were constant murmurs of distrust and discord between the players and Blatt going back to the start of last season when the team slumped immediately out of the gate. Mike Miller (now with the Nuggets) even went so far as to say that Blatt was an “offensive genius” at the start of last season, but was among other players to reserve compliments, even after the team’s run to the Finals.

It was bizarre to recognize the vibe around the team towards Blatt, even with the Cavaliers within two games of a championship. That uneasiness was why the team’s decision to retain Blatt last summer seemed surprising, even after a Finals appearance. Instead, Dan Gilbert and GM David Griffin elected to stick with the same formula in the hopes that a full season together would change the course of the team.

Instead, the Cavs have been a relative disappointment. We say relative, because the Cavs are No. 1 in the East with a top-five ranking in both offense and defense, and they have reached those marks with Kyrie Irving having missed all but a month of the season. But this is all abotu expectations, and being No. 1 in the East and the odds-on favorite to make a second straight Finals appearance out of the East isn’t enough this season. It would be one thing if the team had underwhelmed but there was a good vibe; instead, with the team unhappy on the sideline and the results not living up to expected standards, this was the move, regardless of the record.

2. Tyronn Lue is the new coach of the Cavaliers: As mentioned, Ken Berger reports that assistant coach Tyronn Lue has been installed as the permanent head coach on a new multi-year deal. The move isn’t any more surprising than the firing of Blatt considering Lue was a candidate to get the job in the first place in the summer of 2014, having gone through multiple interviews before being installed as lead assistant under Blatt.

Lue is a former NBA player that has the trust and confidence of James and the team, a voice who the veterans will listen to and respect which is crucial given the massive leadership and preparedness issues the team has faced in key moments this season.

Lue is considered a high-level assistant and head coaching candidate, having learned offense under Doc Rivers and defense under Tom Thibodeau in Boston. His combination of coaching experience for championship-contending teams, along with an attitude and NBA familiarity that should resonate more with the players, makes him an ideal fit.

Would Tom Thibodeau have been a better hire? Maybe, but Lue has the trust of James and the other veterans on the roster, and the Cavs can’t afford more uncertainty and instability with less than four months until the NBA playoffs begin. However, this move does strongly look like the kind of decision that was made at the behest of James.

3. LeBron James reportedly was informed, but not consulted: This seems an awful lot like something James would have wanted to be involved in. The Cavaliers point blank, flat out do not make this move without knowing 100 percent that James would support it. So either James was in fact consulted in some fashion, or he had made his feelings so clearly known that they didn’t have to technically approach him about it.

James isn’t to blame for Blatt’s firing. James has been his usual brilliant self, and James has made strides in trying to change the narrative about he and Blatt’s relationship, even if that narrative was accurate all along. Even in moments of affection between the two after wins, it seemed like the kind of thing you do when you’re trying to force a relationship to be the way it should, instead of an organic extension of personalities.

James has constantly preached about what it takes to win a title and how the Cavaliers have been missing it. It’s not talent, they have that in spades. It’s not experience, even with younger players they have enough veterans to make a run. They’ve been missing an attitude and an approach, which is what James has harped on time and time again, even after wins this season. You have to wonder if that feeling was part of what led Cleveland to move on from Blatt.

4. The Warriors loss was the catalyst: The Cavaliers rattled off consecutive wins vs. the Nets and Clippers Wednesday and Thursday, but the conversation about the Cavs this week was all about the 34-point drubbing at the hands of Golden State. With an opportunity at home to show they were ready to hang with the champions, the Cavs were embarrassed in one of the most stunning losses this season.

This has become a bit of a pattern this season, in that teams following bad Warriors losses have gone into a funk. It took the Grizzlies weeks after a 50-point loss to get back to normal. Kevin McHale, who made the Western Conference Finals, was shelled by the Warriors twice and was fired. We’ve seen teams go through slumps following a bad loss to the Warriors. There’s an affect disorder that seems to infect them as these squads look at Golden State and realize how big the gap is between them and the Warriors.

5. The timing is still not good: The playoffs are four months away, which seems like a long time, but you’ve got the week-long All-Star break coming up, and by mid-March you want your stability and position in the league locked up. There’s not as much time as it may seem like and the Cavaliers just made a move toward drastic instability in a time when they need to really knuckle down and get through the slog of the season.

The move to hire Lue could bring a new mindset which could change everything, and there still could be a trade — even, conceivably, of Kevin Love — to shift they dynamic. But as rare as it is to see a team fire its coach the year after making the Finals, how often do you see a team replace a coach at midseason and then win a championship?

Either way, the soap opera surrounding LeBron James and the Cavaliers continues.

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

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Jeron Artest Wishes Kobe Bryant Happy Birthday With Inspirational Instagram Post

Jeron Artest Wishes Kobe Bryant Happy Birthday With Inspirational Instagram Post. This year of 2020, would have been the 42nd birthday of world renowned athlete, the late Kobe Bryant.

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Jeron Artest Wishes Kobe Bryant Happy Birthday With Inspirational Instagram Post

Jeron Artest Wishes Kobe Bryant Happy Birthday With Inspirational Instagram Post. This year of 2020, would have been the 42nd birthday of world renowned athlete, the late Kobe Bryant. Along with many other people paying tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers Legend was Jeron Artest, son of Metta World Peace who won a championship in 2010 with Kobe before they both retired separately a few years later.  Jeron Artest, currently a division I college basketball player in the NCAA, dedicated a few words on his instagram profile to go with a time lapse video by #PaintedWorld of a billboard size mural in his idol’s memory.

Kobe has influenced practically everyone who loves basketball, whether loved or not, he was a universal force who certainly influenced Jeron as he began organized basketball as a young player. Born in 2001, Jeron was able to witness Kobe flourish at the height of his career playing in the famous purple and gold uniform at the new Staples Center in Downtown L.A. apart of L.A. Live. Jeron first met Kobe in 2006 when his father played with the Sacramento Kings against the Lakers before joining them later in 2009.

Watch the Kobe Bryant Tribute Video on Jeron’s instagram post below. View the hashtags #MambaForever, #MambaMentality, #MambaOut for more posts about the Black Mamba a.k.a. Kobe Bryant. Happy Birthday Kobe!

Kobe was aboard a helicopter along with his 13 year old daughter Gianna Gigi Bryant and 7 other people in Calabasas, California. The crash also claimed the lives of Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, 50. Kobe Bryant had retired in 2016 and was just 41 years old.

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NFL Shockingly Decides Not to Suspend Chiefs Star Tyreek Hill Following Child Abuse Investigation

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NFL Shockingly Decides Not to Suspend Chiefs Star Tyreek Hill Following Child Abuse Investigation

In a shocking twist of events, the NFL announced Friday it would not suspend Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill following a four-month investigation into the wide receiver’s family situation.

Hill was under scrutiny for alleged child abuse after an audio recording was leaked to a television station featuring Hill and his fiancee Crystal Espinal discussing aggressive discipline of their child together.

Previously it was reported the Chiefs were “hopeful” that Hill might not be suspended and they were eyeing a max of four games for the wide receiver.

Legal authorities ultimately decided not to charge Hill, although they did say they believe a crime was committed by someone in the matter.

“This office has reviewed all the evidence and has declined to file charges against Tyreek Hill and Crystal Espinal,” Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said. “We are deeply troubled by the situation. We believe a crime has occurred; however, the evidence in this case doesn’t establish who committed a crime.”

The NFL issued a lengthy statement on the situation, noting that no one at the league office can “conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy.” Additionally, the league said that “information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us.”

In its statement, the league did add that if “further information becomes available” Hill could face a suspension.

Perhaps that could involve a discussion with Espinal? According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the league did not speak with Hill’s fiancee during the course of its investigation.

That’s surprising — the league cannot compel a non-employee to participate in its investigation, but it’s surprising the league would not lean on Hill some to have Espinal speak to the NFL’s investigators.

Here is the league’s statement in full:

Over the past four months, we have conducted a comprehensive investigation of allegations regarding Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Throughout this investigation, the NFL’s primary concern has been the well-being of the child.

Our understanding is that the child is safe and that the child’s ongoing care is being directed and monitored by the Johnson County District Court and the Johnson County Department for Children and Families.

In conducting our investigation, we have taken great care to ensure that we do not interfere with the county’s proceedings or compromise the privacy or welfare of the child in any way.

The information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us, and the court has sealed all law enforcement records. Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child’s injuries.

Similarly, based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy.

Accordingly, he may attend Kansas City’s training camp and participate in all club activities. He has been and will continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention.

If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time.

Obviously the safety and well being of the child is the No. 1 concern here, but Hill is one of the best players in football and a unique talent, and this suspension — or lack thereof — does affect Hill and the Chiefs from a pure football standpoint.

On the field

From a football standpoint, getting Hill back for the entire season is a massive win for Kansas City. The Chiefs lost Kareem Hunt last year after they released the running back in the wake of video, emerging when TMZ uncovered it, showing Hunt assaulting a woman in a hotel hallway.

A few months ago it felt as if Hill could suffer a similar fate as it relates to the Chiefs roster.

Now he’s going to play the entire year barring new evidence popping up, and it means the Chiefs will be as close as possible to full speed offensively.

Hill changes how teams game-plan against the Chiefs, and he’s a matchup nightmare. Patrick Mahomes’ odds of repeating as MVP only increase with this news.

It looked like the Chiefs might enter Week 1 with Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and 2019 second-round pick Mecole Hardman as their top receivers on the depth chart, assuming Hill was missing due to a suspension. With the news that Hill is back, the Chiefs offense looks loaded again. Watkins is a great second wide receiver option, and with Hill and Travis Kelce on the field as well as Damien Williams in the backfield, Mahomes and KC will be an offensive force to be reckoned with.

The Chiefs were already the favorites to win the AFC West, but a lot of people were getting on board the Chargers bandwagon. Expect that to flip back some. The regression chatter with Mahomes should slow down as well if he gets a full season of Hill.

Throwing for 5,000 passing yards and 50 passing touchdowns is not the most likely scenario, simply because of how difficult it is to actually produce back to back seasons like that, but Hill makes those lofty totals much more achievable.

Fantasy football

Hill is now a first-round pick in fantasy, according to Heath Cummings. Heath pegs Hill as early as the fifth overall pick in a PPR league and a late first-round pick in non PPR leagues. The diminutive wide receiver was going as late as the fourth round in recent drafts, with uncertainty about his future playing a key role in people not wanting to invest in him as a high pick. The prevailing logic had Hill facing somewhere between a four- and six-game suspension, but now that he’s in the clear, he should be expected to produce something similar to last year’s 1,479-yard season.

Contract talks

Hill and the Chiefs were, by all accounts, getting pretty close on a new mega extension for the wide receiver in the wake of his All-Pro season in 2018. However, according to a report from James Palmer of NFL Media, it is going to be “several weeks, if not months” before the two sides start talking again. Any new deal, per Palmer, would likely “have some very specific language within it” relating to Hill’s off-field actions. Any sort of massive deal that the wideout gets — and he’ll get one, because ultimately talent wins out in the NFL — would ostensibly have outs for the Chiefs if Hill violates the Personal Conduct Policy.

It would be exceptionally odd of the Chiefs to storm forward with contract talks. They can still utilize the franchise tag on Hill and let things play out with his court situation and with the NFL before agreeing to commit a large degree of financial investment to the wideout.

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U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Win 2019 World Cup Over the Netherlands in 2-0 Final

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U.S. Women's Soccer Team Win 2019 World Cup Over the Netherlands in 2-0 Final

The U.S. women’s national soccer team proved their dominance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup by defeating the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday in the championship match.

The victory in Lyon, France — capping an unrivaled run and capturing the world’s attention — marks both the fourth world title and back-to-back wins for the U.S. women after taking home the trophy in 1991, 1999 and 2015.

The first half of the game went scoreless, with co-captain Megan Rapinoe earning the first goal of the game with a penalty kick at the 61-minute mark. Just before the 69-minute mark, midfielder Rose Lavelle, 24, scored the second goal.

“It’s surreal,” Rapinoe, 34, said after the win. “I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s ridiculous.”

Megan Rapinoe poses with the World Cup trophy and her Golden Boot and Golden Ball trophies.Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Following the victory, Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Boot for the most goals scored in the shortest amount of time.

Rapinoe and teammate Alex Morgan both scored six goals and had three assists, but Rapinoe’s goals were scored in 394 minutes compared to Morgan’s 445 minutes, the BBC reported.

After Sunday’s win, the internet exploded with praise for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated them with a tweet, as well as first lady Melania Trump and tennis star Billie Jean King, who added a call for the women to receive equal pay to their male counterparts.

“It is long past time to pay them what they rightly deserve,” King wrote.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that a parade would be held on Wednesday for the women’s team.

The U.S. women’s national team roared onto the field during the group stage of the World Cup, defeating Thailand, 13-0. They continued to trounce their competitors throughout the games in France.

The win comes after a season that was marked by increasing visibility of LGBTQ athletes, controversy, calls for equal pay, and public battles against President Donald Trump.

In June, Rapinoe said in a recorded interview that she would decline to visit the White House if invited by Trump. In a video clip shared on social media, Rapinoe told a reporter, “I’m not going to the f—ing White House.”

She added that Trump doesn’t invite teams he knows will decline or “like he did when the Warriors turned him down, he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place.”

Trump later responded in a series of tweets, saying he would invite the women’s team win or lose, but adding a rebuke for Rapinoe.

“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” Trump wrote.

Rapinoe later accepted a Twitter invitation from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to visit the U.S. House of Representatives.

“It may not be the White House, but we’d be happy to welcome @mPinoe & the entire #USWMNT for a tour of the House of Representatives anytime they’d like,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Two hours later, Rapinoe replied to the tweet, accepting the invitation.

“Consider it done @AOC,” Rapinoe wrote.

The U.S. women’s team not only stirred up drama off the field, but also on it. The high-scoring game against Thailand led some to criticize how they ran up the score and appeared arrogant by celebrating too much.

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