After starting the season off 0-6, the Cleveland Cavaliers relieved Tyronn Lue of his duties as head coach in the midst of his fifth season with the franchise. Following the news breaking on Sunday, there was an outpouring of support from Lue’s current and former players, including now Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who Lue coached last season.
James sent out a tweet early Sunday morning to thank his former head coach, who helped steer the Cavaliers to their first championship in franchise history in 2016. Lue also coached the Cavs to a 128-83 record in the regular season and a 41-20 record in the playoffs.
T Lue thanks for the memories and more importantly our partnership bringing a to that deserved city/fan base. U know how to find me— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 28, 2018
James was far from the only player to wish Lue will in his next endeavors. Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. all took to social media to share their thoughts on their former coach.
However, like any coach James has had in his 15-year career, Lue was heavily scrutinized for the way he led, or didn’t lead, the Cavaliers in his early days with the team. There were even jokes that James was the head coach of the Cavs, not Lue.
Despite that, Lue was able to power through the early adversity he had with his locker room and rallied the Cavaliers back from a 1-3 series deficit in 2016 to bring the city of Cleveland their first major sports championship in 52 years. It’s no wonder he has James’ respect.
It’s unclear what’s next for Lue, but there’s little doubt he’ll be on an NBA bench sooner rather than later. Could that bench be Lakers head coach Luke Walton’s?
Lue spent the first three years of his career with the Lakers and won a championship in his last season with the team. However, he never crossed paths with Walton — who was drafted in 2003 — while he was with Los Angeles, making a team up unlikely.
However, if Walton struggles to find his footing with Lakers and ends up on the hot seat, Lue could be an option for the front office next summer solely for his relationship with James. That’s a big if and a long way off though, so it’s not worth really concerning oneself about for now.
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