The Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach Tyronn Lue and named Larry Drew interim coach on Sunday.
Cleveland has started the season with six straight losses.
“My time here in Cleveland was truly special,” Lue said in a statement to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “I am very grateful for the dedication, sacrifice, and support of all the players on our team, the tremendous coaches I worked with and of course, our incredible fans. Lastly, deep thanks to (owner) Dan Gilbert, (former general manager) David Griffin and (general manager) Koby Altman for the opportunity over the last three years and I only wish the organization success moving forward.”
Drew met with management on Sunday morning to discuss terms of a promotion to interim coach, league sources said. It is possible he’ll seek a more permanent appointment. Drew was 8-1 as the interim coach a year ago when Lue was sidelined with illness. He led Atlanta to the playoffs in each of his three years as head coach of the Hawks and spent one year as Milwaukee’s head coach in 2013-14.
Lue led the Cavaliers to three straight NBA Finals, including the 2016 NBA championship. He was 128-83 on the job. Cleveland’s ownership and management had hoped the team would compete for a playoff spot, although it might not be realistic with the hole that the loss of LeBron James‘ leaving in free agency left on the roster.
This was second time James left Cleveland in free agency. The first time, the Cavaliers went from 61 wins with James in 2009-10 to 19 wins without him the next season.
“This was a very difficult decision. It is especially so, considering Coach Lue’s time with us over the last four years, including four straight trips to the NBA Finals,” Altman said in a statement. “We have respect and great admiration for Ty, not only as a coach, but a person. We thank