Last year's drama and this year's humbling results against other top teams have snowballed. The Cavaliers fired coach David Blatt, Yahoo Sports first reported Friday.

Assistant coach Tyronn Lue will be the team's new head coach, bypassing the interim step, Yahoo reported. The move comes as a surprise while the Cavaliers have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 30-11.

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Blatt had an 83-40 regular-season record in a season and a half as Cleveland's coach. He was hired before LeBron James decided to join the Cavaliers, and many wondered about the fit at the time as Blatt had never spent any time in the NBA. ESPN reported James was not involved in the decision to fire Blatt, but his fondness of Lue and issues with Blatt were known throughout the organization.

But the former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach who stood out for years in Europe still led the Cavs to the NBA Finals, where they were defeated by the Warriors while without stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Blatt's second season has been similarly successful — including two losses to the Warriors and one to the Spurs, the two best teams in the NBA.

"I know we are not yet at our best and we can almost be encouraged by that because if we’re in the position that we’re in and we have where to go, in terms of getting better, there’s a positive in that, a real positive," Blatt recently said of criticism of the team.

“You know what, we didn’t get here right now by being a bad team or by having all these problems that suddenly surface when you have a bad game like what we have. We work pretty hard to be, as of today, midseason, in first place in our conference and with some very good wins under our belt and with players finally getting back and being healthy."

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Lue was named the Cavs' top assistant upon the hiring of Blatt. He previously had served on Doc Rivers' staffs with the Celtics and Clippers, and he was a top candidate to be named head coach at the time.

Blatt's contract was for up to $5 million a year through the 2017-18 season. He is the third coach to be fired this season, joining the Rockets' Kevin McHale and the Nets' Lionel Hollins.

He released a statement through his agency, Priority Sports: “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 Gil

bert 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 our 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.”