Just hours after being fired as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tyronn Lue issued a statement that expressed his thanks for his time with the team. He was dismissed on Sunday morning after the team began the 2018-19 NBA season with six straight losses.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) October 28, 2018
Lue was under consideration to become the Cavaliers head coach in 2014, but lost out to David Blatt. Despite coming up short, he accepted a job with the team as an assistant coach. When Blatt was fired in January 2016, Lue was elevated to the role of head coach and proceeded to lead the Cavs to the franchise’s first-ever league title five months later.
After that championship, Lue agreed to a five-year contract with the Cavaliers that paid him an estimated $7 million per year. Two more trips to the finals came up short, with the departure of LeBron James in July then shifting the focus of the organization to more of a rebuilding mode.
The key issue that ultimately got Lue fired was his insistence on staying loyal to the veterans on the Cavaliers, in opposition to general manager Koby Altman‘s approach of focusing on more playing time for younger players. Assistant coach Larry Drew was promoted to interim head coach, but has a much stiffer challenge ahead than when Lue took over a first-place team. His first game will be on Tuesday night when the Cavaliers face the Atlanta Hawks.