Although the Cavaliers announced on Sunday that Larry Drew had taken over as the team’s interim head coach in the wake of Tyronn Lue‘s dismissal, Drew insists that title isn’t quite accurate. Speaking today to reporters, Drew attempted to clarify his role.
“I’m not the interim coach. I’m the voice right now,” Drew said, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net. “As I’m sure you know, there is no agreement right now. Me and my agent have in talks about restructuring my contract. No decision has been made and I’m not sure if one will.”
It’s an odd situation, one that Drew likens to being a “substitute teacher,” as Amico relays. Drew is interested in being the Cavaliers’ coach, but he also wants a restructured contract and a longer-term commitment.
That’s a reasonable stance — if the Cavs go into full-fledged tank mode this season, those wins and losses would go on Drew’s official record and could make it more difficult for him to find another head coaching job in the future. His last head coaching gig was in 2013/14, when he led the Bucks to a 15-67 mark. At the time, it was his fourth consecutive season as an NBA head coach, but he was fired just one year after being hired by Milwaukee and has been back in an assistant role ever since.
Here’s more from out of Cleveland:
- There is a push within a faction of the Cavaliers’ organization to make a longer-term commitment to Drew, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). It remains to be seen if the two sides will work something out.
- Explaining his decision to move on from Lue, GM Koby Altman said today that “this is a different group and we feel it needs a different voice.” Altman added that the Cavs had hoped to “overachieve” this season, but that hasn’t happened (Twitter link via Amico).
- Altman also said that a timeline for Kevin Love‘s return has yet to be determined (Twitter link via Amico). Altman still believes it could be a “short-term” absence, though a report from earlier today suggested that Love could miss a month.
- Firing Lue won’t solve the Cavaliers’ problems, according to Bill Livingston of Cleveland.com. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News agrees, arguing that the team’s real issues lie with its players. Meanwhile, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes that the Cavs’ history of burning through coaches and front office executives has prevented the franchise from establishing stability.
- Coaches from around the NBA weighed in on Lue’s firing, with Clippers coach Doc Rivers saying it “makes no sense” and Warriors coach Steve Kerr suggesting that if Lue “wants another shot, he’ll get one” (links via Andrew Grief of The Los Angeles Times and Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press).