Coaching LeBron James may be a curse in disguise for most NBA head coaches, truth to be told, as the pressure that comes with having one of the best players in the world on your team is just enormous.
Moreover, LeBron isn’t exactly the most easy-going or coachable player in the world, as he’s been repeatedly involved in controversies regarding him ignoring play calls and wanting to do things his own ways.
Obviously, when you have a basketball IQ as high as his, it’s difficult not to take matters into your own hands and do what you feel is better for the team, even at your boss' expense.
Still, more often than not, coaching LeBron means you’re going to get fire at the earliest signs of struggles, and today, we’re going to let you know about the LeBron Curse, and all of the coaches that were fired while coaching him.
Paul Silas was supposed to be a father-figure for LeBron and the surging Cleveland Cavaliers, and while his relationship with the King was pretty good, the same can’t be said about most of his teammates.
The Cavaliers were on the verge of clinching a playoff berth when Silas got fired in 2005, with 18 games left in the season and the team holding onto the 5th seed in the East. The team eventually missed the playoffs despite starting the year 34-30.
Brendan Malone was only able to last 18 games during LeBron James’ sophomore season, logging 10 triumphs and 8 defeats during that tenure and failing to lead the Cavaliers towards success.
The team finished the season with a 42-40 record and missed the playoffs for the second time in LeBron James’ career. Notably, he would go on to make it to the playoffs for 15 straight seasons until this year.
Mike Brown has found way more success as an assistant coach than as the main guy in charge. His coaching career started as Malone’s successor to try and develop a tough-minded defensive squad like the San Antonio Spurs.
He took the Cavaliers to 5 straight postseason berths, and always got them past the first round. Moreover, the team even made it to the NBA Finals in 2007, was named Coach of the Year and 2009 after leading the Cavs to a 66-16 record. Still, failing to make it to the Finals twice in a row and with James heading out the door, it was time to let him go.
This one has to be the most controversial and uncomfortable coaching situation a LeBron James coach has ever had. David Blatt was one of Europe’s most respected coaches but his bad relationship with LeBron and refusal to let the King pulls the strings of the offense eventually sealed his fate.
Blatt led the team to the 2015 Finals and, even though he was beaten by the Warriors, he bounced back and led them to the top of the East again next season. Still, the team fired him midway through the year and Tyronn Lue eventually took over.
Luke Walton is the latest victim of the LeBron curse, and word around the league is that it was just a matter of time before the Lakers showed him the way out, and that’s one of the main reasons why Magic Johnson decided to step down as the team’s president of basketball operations.
Walton was thrown under the bus for most of the season due to his lack of experience as a head coach, but suspensions and injuries really took a toll on his ability to lead the team to success. The Lakers were never able to find consistency, and while Walton may not be the perfect guy for the job, he’s not the one to blame for the team’s struggles.