The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tyronn Lue became the first NBA head coach to be fired in the 2018-19 season, after leading the team to a 0-6 record out of the gate, according to a report from The Athletic’s Joe Vardon.
Citing Vardon’s report, Yahoo Sports wrote that Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman called Lue into his office on Sunday morning to fire him after almost three years as the team’s head coach. Lue, a former first-round draft pick who played 11 seasons in the NBA, mostly as a backup point guard, took over from David Blatt after the Cavs fired him midway through the 2015-16 season. He compiled a 128-83 regular season record in Cleveland and led the team to three NBA Finals appearances and the 2016 NBA championship, where the Cavs recovered from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors in seven games.
As further noted by Vardon in a Twitter post, Tyronn Lue’s firing doesn’t appear to have gone down well with the Cavaliers, as multiple players were reportedly “pissed” over the team’s decision to part ways with the 41-year-old coach. Although Vardon didn’t go into detail about how the players were expressing their disappointment, Sportsnaut cited posts from shooting guard J.R. Smith and forward/center Kevin Love, who both took to social media to thank Lue for his contributions to the Cavs.
The Cavs won 169 total games under Tyronn Lue.
Since he was named head coach in January 2016, only Golden State has more total wins. pic.twitter.com/QjkBBGmGwY
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 28, 2018
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) October 28, 2018
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
While Smith used a facepalm emoji when tweeting about how Lue was fired despite Cleveland’s multiple trips to the NBA Finals under his leadership, Love’s Instagram post focused mainly on the lessons Lue taught him during his time as Cavaliers head coach.
“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.”
WKYC wrote that former Cavaliers superstar LeBron James also reacted to Lue’s firing on social media, as he thanked his former head coach for the memories and for helping bring Cleveland sports fans their first major league sports championship since the NFL’s Browns in 1964.
Commenting on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ decision to fire Tyronn Lue, Yahoo Sports‘ Kaleel Weatherly opined that the move was mostly a product of how the team “did a horrible job” of retooling the roster after James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer. He added that Larry Drew, who will be taking over as interim coach, will likely have a tall order ahead of him as he prepares to lead a team that’s allegedly upset over Lue’s departure and not as loaded with talent as most other teams in the Eastern Conference.