LeBron James

Cleveland's decision to fire head coach David Blatt has sparked outrage in an unexpected place: Israel.

According to Cleveland.com, vitriol directed at James from the small Middle Eastern nation has ramped up in the past few days, reaching a point where there are implied threats of violence toward the Cavs star. Israelis believe that James pushed the organization to fire Blatt, despite a 30-11 record that season.

One Israeli journalist described sentiments as such: "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."

Hamas is recognized by the United States as a terrorist organization organized with intentions of destroying Israel.

Blatt, who grew up in Massachusetts, maintains citizenship in both the United States and Israel, and his family lives in the country. He has also spent much of his professional career in Israel, first playing and then coaching in the Israeli league.

Before last year's NBA Finals, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Blatt that "all of Israel is behind the Cavaliers," per Cleveland.com.

Israel had become a hotbed of Cavs fans, with the games regularly broadcast so that locals could support Blatt.

Now, interest in the team has been dropped faster than Blatt himself.

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