NBA Rumor: Tyronn Lue Fired

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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.

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 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.

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