Poor LeBron James is in the midst of an onslaught of criticism for perhaps engineering Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach David Blatt's firing (or maybe just for being an asshole towards Blatt) by what sounds like the entire country of Israel. Blatt, an Israeli citizen who played/coached in Israel for decades, was surprisingly fired on Friday despite the Cavs' current position at the top of the Eastern Conference. The tone from reports out of Israel is unsparing; one report even went as far as comparing LeBron to, uh, Hamas. Via Agence France-Press:
"LeBron James is now the most hated person in Israel," Sharon Davidovitch, a sports journalist for Israeli news site Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, told AFP.
He said the decision to move on from Blatt was correct since the players and coach apparently did not get along, but noted that Israeli fans were taking the decision hard.
"It's a little bit joking and a little bit true: These days I can only compare the Israeli hate for LeBron James to the hate for Hamas," he said, speaking of the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and which calls for Israel's destruction.
Over on LeBron's Instagram account, the comments on his pictures are inundated with crude Hebrew insults, which we'll refrain from posting here.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, LeBron was not informed of the decision to fire Blatt before it occurred, but as Yahoo's Adrian Wojranowski points out, the King's wanted Blatt out for a while now.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.