INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP)- LeBron James says he was as “surprised and caught off-guard like everybody” by the firing of Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, who took his team to the NBA Finals last season.

James says he agrees with general manager David Griffin’s assessment that the Cavs aren’t as connected as they need to be to chase a championship. James says it’s not his concern that there’s a perception he was behind the decision to fire Blatt, who was 83-40 in two seasons and has the Cavs atop the Eastern Conference.

Blatt has been replaced by (Mexico, Mo. born) Tyronn Lue, his top assistant. Lue says he has no intention of doing things differently from Blatt, “but better.” Lue already has a strong relationship with James but says he will hold the four-time MVP to the same standards as his other players.

The Cavs host the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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