The Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt on Friday, and replaced him with a former player who will now be a first-time NBA head coach.
Is it a risky move? Maybe. But Tyronn Lue has an impressive résumé that should make him more than qualified to handle his new level of immense responsibility. Here are five things to know about the Cavaliers’ new head coach.
Lue is a former player who played 11 NBA seasons for seven different teams.
Lue was a role player with pedestrian career averages of 8.5 points and 3.1 assists in 22.7 minutes per game, but he stuck around in the league thanks to having a high basketball IQ and a willingness to listen to his coaches.
Lue won a championship as a member of the 2001 Lakers.
The 2001 Lakers team was the most dominant of the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant era, and Lue was a bit player during its NBA postseason record 15-1 run through the postseason. However . . .
Lue was on the wrong end of one of Allen Iverson’s most iconic moments.
The one game that Lakers team lost during those 2001 playoffs was Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the 76ers in overtime, and Lue was prominently involved. Iverson, who dropped 48 points in the classic, hit a clutch shot in the corner that helped seal the victory, and stepped over Lue defiantly on his way back down the floor. For what it’s worth, Lue is a good sport about this moment all these years later. And there’s no love lost between them:
Congratulations to Tyron Lue. Well deserved and good luck. Love you
Lue played for Phil Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Stan Van Gundy and Doc Rivers.
A benefit of playing for so many different teams is getting to learn from a variety of different head coaches, and Lue played under some of the best.
Lue was the highest-paid assistant coach in NBA history.
This isn’t Jason Kidd stepping essentially off the court and into his first head-coaching job with the Nets. Lue was an assistant under Rivers for four seasons with the Celtics and in 2013 with the Clippers, and became the richest assistant coach in NBA history when he signed a four-year deal worth $6.5 million with the Cavaliers in 2014.
Lue appears ready. Time will tell if the former head coach was the only problem with these Cavaliers.