Cavaliers Fire Tyronn Lue

1:44pm: The Cavaliers have made the firing of Tyronn Lue official, confirming the news in a press release. The team also confirmed Larry Drew will take over as interim head coach.

“This was a very difficult decision. It is especially so, considering Coach Lue’s time with us over the last four years, including four straight trips to the NBA Finals,” general manager Koby Altman said. “We have respect and great admiration for Ty, not only as a coach, but a person. We thank him for the many ways he has contributed to our success, wish him the best and he will always be remembered for leading a very special Cavs team back against the odds to win the title in 2016. This is a different team equation, though, and one that we felt needed a different voice and approach that required this change.”

10:14am: After an 0-6 start, Tyronn Lue has been dismissed as head coach of the Cavaliers, tweets Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The decision was announced following a meeting this morning between Lue and GM Koby Altman (Twitter link). Assistant Larry Drew will serve as interim coach while the team looks for a replacement, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Drew will run practice today, and Altman and owner Dan Gilbert are hoping he will accept the interim job with a chance to earn a full-time head coaching position, Wojnarowski tweets. However, Drew is hoping for a longer commitment right away.

Lue compiled a 128-83 record after replacing David Blatt midway through the 2015/16 season. He led the organization to its only championship and took the Cavs back to the NBA Finals the past two seasons. Lue received a five-year, $35MM contract extension after winning the title in 2016 and is still owed about $15MM (Twitter link).

Of course, that was with LeBron James, who departed for the Lakers in free agency over the summer. Cleveland was expected to have a difficult transition with James gone, but the front office had hoped enough veteran talent was still in place to contend for the playoffs. The organization gave a four-year extension to Kevin Love over the offseason as a sign that it wasn’t ready to start rebuilding.

However, the Cavaliers got off to a miserable start, not only losing their first six games, but struggling to remain competitive. The team hasn’t held a lead after halftime all season and has trailed by at least 16 points in every game, Vardon noted in a recap of Saturday’s loss to the Pacers. The Cavs have been especially bad at home, where they have dropped three games by a combined 50 points.

Lue urged patience after the latest defeat, contending there’s more to building success than just the team’s record.

“I don’t think you define culture off of wins and losses,” he said. “I think you define culture on how the organization is a class-A organization, and with Dan Gilbert at the helm, it’s always going to be that way. I think it’s about the players you bring in. It’s about your coaching staff and who you surround the people with, so, culture is not defined by wins and losses.”

Cavaliers players are angry about the decision to replace Lue and some are reacting on social media, Vardon relays in a full story on the move. Love posted a photo of him with Lue on Instagram along with a message thanking his former coach for all his help. Lue and Altman have been clashing on the direction of the team since training camp, Vardon adds.

Altman wanted to devote more playing time to younger players such as Cedi Osman and first-round pick Collin Sexton, and after two early losses Lue and Altman told veterans J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver and Channing Frye that their minutes were being reduced. However, after being embarrassed by the Hawks in their home opener, Lue decided to put Korver and Smith back in the rotation.

The Cavs have also dismissed assistant coach Damon Jones, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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46 thoughts on “Cavaliers Fire Tyronn Lue

  1. twinnb15

    That’s not too surprising. They need a coach that will take control of their overhaul.

    • southbeachbully

      I’m so disappointed with this franchise. It’s really not a matter of IF he’s a good coach or not. Or even if he’s the right coach for this rebuild. It’s really about having an organizational game plan and giving time for it to succeed or fail. If all it took was an 0-6 record to start the season to come to the decision to move on from Lue then it should’ve been done at the end of last season because CLEARLY they were not committed to Lue if he’s on such a short leash. If this is the direction they want to go then it tells me that maybe the team is stuck in between rebuilding and wanting to compete thus making the Love resigning problematic especially since his first 6 games haven’t been that great either.

      IMO, lack of a plan that is bought into from ownership, to front office and to the coaching staff.

      Not a single fan would’ve failed to understand that dismantling of a championship caliber team sanz their greatest contributor was going to be painful. Wasting a year wondering which way you want to attack the 2018-19 will only make the pain last a lot longer. If we end up having a 35 win season but If the young core played everyday, made mistakes, learned, turned the curve and allowed us to have an honest evaluation of what we should keep or move on from following the 2019 season then at least we would be making progress. Smh. Lue MIGHT be an awful coach of a young team but 6 games shouldn’t be what is used to base anything off of. No one expected him to be 6-0 so if the team had a 2-4 start would THAT have warranted him being fired? Probably not. Just not leadership from the top.

  2. formerlyz

    Rofl get bodied. Should have happened last year. Cant even use his team correctly

  3. Hannibal8us

    The Cavs being bad without LeBron is a surprise to no one. Definitely need a coach who’s capable of handling the rebuild.

  4. I think Lou cut his own throat by saying it’s not about wins and losses. It’s absolutely about wins and losses.

    • ChiSoxCity

      So another coach will win more games with the Cavs roster? In what universe?

      • I don’t think anybody could win more games and Lou did. Where did I say another coach would win more games?

        I think what I’m saying is that wins and losses are important to a GM and owner. When the coach says it’s not about wins and losses he’s cutting his own throat. Can another coach win more games than Tyronn Lue did? Nope.

          • Voice to text. If you say Lou out loud, doesn’t it sound like Lue? You weren’t sure who I was talking about, maybe Lou Williams?

  5. D-NBA

    That’s what you get for not starting Sexton and Clarkson you froghead, you want to play veterans who aren’t doing crap there ya go.

    • formerlyz

      Both of those guys should be coming off the bench. Starting Rodney Hood and Tristan Thompson is the main problem

        • formerlyz

          With the additions they made in the offseason, especially to improve their defense, Clarkson should be coming off the bench for that team

    • Ptn18

      Right now Clarkson is one of their better shooters. Sexton is the teams future point guard. They should start. The Cavs have been at the bottom of the NBA in defense at least the last couple years. They could use a defensive minded coach like Frank Vogel on the staff. He was at the top of the league in defense with Indiana.

  6. formerlyz

    New report sounds like they wont be fixing their rotation any time soon. Its obvious they play better when certain guys play. Korver should be traded. JR Smith and Larry Nance should be starting. Hood and Thompson should be coming off the bench. David Nwaba needs to be in the rotation

  7. acarneglia

    This might be where we see a Kevin Love trade. Mad about a HC change, not winning, team clearly rebuilding.

  8. stretch123

    Trade us K Love to miami. K Love for Whiteside and two first rounders.

    Then J Butler from Minni for Richardson, Olynyk and a first rounder

    Makes Miami a contender

    • formerlyz

      Not sure Love would come off the bench behind Bam or if it makes sense to pay him his deal in that situation. Also, I still wouldnt trade Richardson in a Butler deal

  9. mpaoword

    Lue never rightfully earned his position and rode on the coattails of Lebron the previous three years. His teams progressively got worse defensively each year and his appointment to the position to replace Blatt was a huge mistake on Cleveland’s part. The Cavs would have made it to the finals either way that year and Lue was never the difference.

    • Grant

      Except he didn’t. It was the previous GM altman has only been at the helm a year

    • southbeachbully

      Hahaha…you can’t blame the GM for this team. Most of the big money players were inherited (JR, Thompson, Korver, etc), or used for salary matching puposes when his hand was forced to trade Irving or a GM decision (signing Love to be the face of the franchise).

      He earns his paycheck once Gilbert gives him the green-light to rebuild or at least unload some of the vet contracts like Smith, Hill, Korver and Thompson. Maybe even Love which signifies a bad decision should they now decide to move on. Unless Love simply wanted to stay in Cleveland, even if they rebuild. I can’t imagine that he honestly felt they would be a contender this season.

  10. C-Daddy

    Lue looks like he could be on of Frieza’s henchmen from Dragon Ball Z.

  11. Ptn18

    One down, one to go. Go ahead and let Hue Jackson go for the Browns. Make Kyle Korver an assistant coach for the Cavs. It’s time to waive J,R. Sacramento started De’Aaron Fox over Hill. The Cavs need to start Sexton.

  12. Z-A

    Only hired bc LeBron chose him. Honestly tho he should not coach, the stress was going to kill him.

  13. I would have sent Lue packing the day LeBron left. Nothing to do with whether he’s a good coach or not. He was brought in to coach a team built around LeBron. Hard to deal with the same players in different roles (theirs and yours).

    But 6 games into the season? If his job security was this fragile, what was the point of going through the summer and pre-season (and now the interim period) without the next guy in place?

  14. all in ad

    Screwy Lue! Cavs went to finals despite him. He never knew who the best players were. JR Smith must have pictures on Lue. He could not start for another team!

  15. x%sure

    The veterans were not good leaders IMO, and were never previously intended to be. This has left Lue isolated.

    At 0-6 & rarely even close, players are not in a position to complain.

    Bring back David Blatt!

    • Ptn18

      Blatt not knowing the Cavs are out of timeouts with time expiring in a playoff game, and J.R. not knowing what the score is. Good pair.

      • x%sure

        One for stressing defense, one for getting an extra draft pick.
        I would not call Korver a coaching prospect. He does have a good-looking frown though.

        • Ptn18

          Korver has been the Cavs shooting coach for 2 years now. When he retires he’ll get a coaching job. Drew will keep the coaching job. Everyone knows they’ll have a losing season, so Drew may be the best they can get.

  16. Guest617

    haha yesterday i called-out extra square jaw face dan gilbert has mastered the art of tanking

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