Jay King: Brad Stevens said he talked to Ty Lue yesterday a bit after he got fired. “The good news for him is he’ll be I’m sure heavily sought after. … He’s a heck of a coach.”
Cayleigh Griffin: Tristan Thompson on the message the team receives when a coach is fired - “Gotta be better.” He notes it was a very emotional day, and there’s a lot of love for Ty Lue here.
Dane Moore: At Target Center this morning, LeBron James comments on the Ty Lue firing in Cleveland: “Nothing but respect...” pic.twitter.com/X2xUalifXE
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on the news that Cleveland fired Tyronn Lue: “It’s always sad when you see a fellow coach get the axe like that this early in the season.”
Cleveland needed a player's coach who had earned LeBron James' respect and spent plenty of time around some of the NBA's finest. His resume gave him credibility. It allowed him to challenge James and some of the other vets. He built trust that Blatt lost. The bold stroke by then-GM David Griffin ultimately led to the Cavaliers' first NBA championship a few months later. The Cavaliers still feel Lue -- labeled an "incredible coach" by a source that spoke with cleveland.com Sunday afternoon -- would be an ideal fit for a roster loaded with experience, perhaps one capable of competing for a championship immediately. Just not the Cavs -- a team that's trying to strike an incredibly difficult balance between the present and future.
After a tough decision, one the organization knows will be panned given how early it is into the season and Lue's stellar mark as head coach, the Cavs parted ways with him early Sunday morning, one day after another double-digit blowout loss at home. They also fired assistant coach Damon Jones. Lue handled the news in a very professional manner, according to a source familiar with the meeting.
According to a source, the Cavs had grown frustrated with the overall lack of competitiveness, believing the roster is more talented than it has displayed. In all six losses, the Cavs have trailed by at least 16 points. They have yet to lead in the second half of a game. Four of the six losses have been by double figures. "We have radically underachieved and it was unacceptable," the source said.
The Cavs announced the firing and Drew's appointment in a statement Sunday afternoon. “This was a very difficult decision," Cavs general manager Koby Altman said in a statement. "It is especially so, considering Coach Lue’s time with us over the last four years, including four straight trips to the NBA Finals,” said Altman. “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."
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman fired coach Tyronn Lue on Sunday, sources told The Athletic. Lue, 41, is the only coach in Cavs history to win a championship. He has three years left on the five-year, $35 million contract he signed after guiding the team to its 2016 Finals victory, and leaves the only head coaching job he’s ever had with a record of 128-83. ... Altman called Lue into his office Sunday morning and fired him. Lue did not argue with Altman, a source said.
The team’s players were informed immediately thereafter. A source told The Athletic the players are “pissed.” Lue’s a player’s coach who is partial to veterans, and his partiality toward them might have played a role in his dismissal.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cavs practicing soon -- with GM Koby Altman expected to tell players that Larry Drew is the team's voice today. Altman and Dan Gilbert wants Drew to accept interim coaching job -- with possibility of a longer-term appointment later. Drew is hoping for a longer commitment now.
Joe Vardon: Cavs' players are 'pissed' over Lue's firing, sources tell me. You're seeing it play out on social media. bit.ly/2OdTD9s
Adrian Wojnarowski: Ty Lue had approximately $15M left on his Cavaliers contract, league source tells ESPN.
The decision to fire Lue is peculiar despite the winless start. Lue, who has three years left on his five-year, $35 million contract, took the team to three consecutive NBA Finals. He is known as a players’ coach and his track record suggests he deserved more than six games with a team, especially considering he was on the sidelines for Cleveland’s best seasons. But owner Dan Gilbert has a history of coaching and front-office dismissals. Since Gilbert bought the team in 2005, the Cavs have had seven head coaches, including Mike Brown twice – his second stint lasting just one season. Altman is Cleveland’s fifth general manager during Gilbert’s ownership.
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman fired coach Tyronn Lue on Sunday, sources told The Athletic.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After firing Ty Lue, Cleveland planning to promote Larry Drew to interim coach, sources tell ESPN. Management meeting with Drew now.
Kevin Love: You helped me see the big picture. Life changing experiences and teaching points. Nothing but love and admiration. Know we will work towards something greater together again. THANK YOU. 🏆
June 23, 2021 | 9:04 am EDT Update
While McMillan is the team’s “interim’’ head coach, sources made it abundantly clear Hawks management would love to remove the interim title. However, sources also said the 56-year-old McMillan has some reservations whether he wants to be the permanent head coach and may prefer some other role in the organization. Money won’t factor into McMillan’s decision as he is financially set, sources said.
The 24-year-old is just fearless, and it’s that kind of bravado that has everything to do with the Suns taking these two games without Chris Paul while he continues to go through COVID protocol. Beverley bothered him defensively, but Booker never backed down. I asked him afterward if their back-and-forth was good, old-fashioned playoff basketball, or if perhaps Beverley and the Clippers were going too far with the physicality. “That’s for you guys to decide,” he said. “They’re an aggressive team. That’s how they guard. All those guys, they’re athletic. Watching the previous series against Dallas and Utah, (they’re) switching everything and trying to turn teams over. But we’re figuring it out and we try to stay aggressive, stay with what we do and whether it’s basketball plays or not, we’ve got to move on to the next one.”
“CP has taken Cam Payne under his wing,” he said. “When you see Cam Payne coming into practice with Chris Paul, you’re wondering, you know — Chris Paul is usually the one here early and you see Cam Payne right behind him and you tend to ask questions, them two been together watching film, lifting weights together stuff like that. You could tell that Cam really took a different approach to a whole other level and he did it right in front of our eyes. Like I said, he was bound to have one of these games and he’s a guy who keeps it consistent. He plays hard both ends of the ball, and I just love his passion.”
“We want everybody to cherish this moment because we are built for this,” Antetokounmpo said. “That’s why we are here. No matter the pressure, no matter what’s going on, we are built for this. We believe in who we are. No matter what happens, win or lose, we’ll stay together and we’re just going to go out there and compete.” Antetokounmpo delivered for the Bucks in the series finale against the Nets with 40 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. For the series, he averaged 28.8 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
Against Brooklyn, Antetokounmpo averaged 40.1 minutes per game, the most he has averaged in any series and by far the most he has averaged since Budenholzer became coach in 2018. Antetokounmpo played 50 of 53 minutes in Game 7. “I’ve prepared my body all year for moments like that, being able to play 40 minutes, 42, 45, 48, whatever it may be, 53,” he said. “(Budenholzer) knows the way I am. If I get tired I’m going to let him know. If I get tired and I need a 30-second break or a minute-break, usually we have a great way to communicate about that – that he can pull me out and put me right back.”
Two people who have played important roles behind the scenes for the Hawks are Larry Riley and Mike McNeive. Riley, once an assistant coach and scout for the Bucks, is a senior advisor to Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk. Before joining the Hawks, Riley played a major role in the enormous success of the Golden State Warriors as be drafted Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson while being the team’s general manager. McNeive, who worked as an advance scout and assistant coach for the Bucks during the George Karl regime, is the Hawks director of basketball operations.
June 23, 2021 | 5:32 am EDT Update
Sullivan is the author of “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow,” which released on Tuesday. In a conversation with our friends from Celtics Wire on their podcast, Celtics Lab, Sullivan said that Nets ownership was unhappy with Irving over his midseason “pause,” and that Irving could be available for the right offer.
Matt Sullivan: “Let me give you guys a little news, I’m not sure that’s been out there. I’ve heard that Nets ownership was quite upset with Kyrie’s ‘pause,’ especially that maskless party that turned his psuedo-paternity leave into more like a COVID suspension. And in the last week I’ve heard rumblings – whispers, really, because cracking the Nets is kind of like breaking into the Kremlin, that Brooklyn GM Sean Marks would maybe, possibly, apparently be willing to at least listen to a trade offer for Kyrie this offseason. Now, I’m not sure what the market for Kyrie is at this point. It’s not like Ben Simmons giving you the headache on the court. It’s that complex personality that comes from off the court. I think it’s been annoying some people in the franchise. I can’t speak to his teammates, who obviously want to play with one of the world’s best and get him back there.”