David Blatt Compares Himself to a Fighter Pilot, Makes Internet Laugh

Israeli-American coach of Cleveland Cavaliers mocked as Top Gun star after gaffe almost cost his team victory in Chicago.

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David Blatt reacting during Cleveland's Game 4 playoff contest against the Bulls in Chicago, May 10, 2015.
David Blatt reacting during Cleveland's Game 4 playoff contest against the Bulls in Chicago, May 10, 2015.Credit: AP

The Internet is not very forgiving of off-color comments by celebrities, and David Blatt, the American-Israeli coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers is learning this the hard way. After likening his own decision making to that of a fighter pilot, Blatt has become the subject of many an Internet meme.

LeBron James hit a buzzer beater to carry the Cleveland to a series-tying victory over the Chicago Bulls in the NBA playoffs on Sunday, but that wasn't enough to save Blatt from criticism for attempting to call a time out when his team didn't have one seconds earlier.

Had officials seen it, he would have been called for a technical foul, but they were not looking his way and his assistant coach pulled him back in time.
Blatt, however, got into deeper trouble when he tried to defend himself and reply to criticism of his coaching despite taking his team to the second round of the playoffs.

"A basketball coach makes 150 to 200 critical decisions during the course of a game, something that I think is paralleled only by a fighter pilot," Blatt said in response to questions about his miscue.

On Monday, Blatt's likeness showed up on a remake of the Top Gun poster in place of Tom Cruise.

David Blatt stars in Top Gun pic.twitter.com/uErP7AmiWv

Steve McPherson, who writes for Rolling Stone and ESPN, Photoshopped Blatt into a U.S. Air Force jet.

Blatt’s mouth writing checks his body can’t cash. pic.twitter.com/MvSfDmh2iN

Some went for more cerebral humor, such as one user who made reference to Chris Webber, the former Michigan star who was called for a technical when he asked for a timeout in his team's loss against the University of North Carolina in the closing seconds of the 1993 NCAA Basketball championship game:

Hey Blatt, listen, if you need a wingman, I'll fly with you. - Chris "Viper" Webber

Blatt, for his part, has not responded to the Internet mockery.