Tyronn Lue

Steve Kerr 'wasn't surprised' by Cavs firing Tyronn Lue after 0-6 start

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Steve Kerr 'wasn't surprised' by Cavs firing Tyronn Lue after 0-6 start

Chances of the Warriors facing coach Tyronn Lue and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the fourth consecutive time in the NBA Finals went from infinitesimal to absolute zero Sunday morning.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, dissatisfied with the team’s 0-6 start -- not entirely surprising after LeBron James' departure to the Lakers -- fired Lue and moved assistant Larry Drew into the role of interim coach.

“I wasn’t surprised. Nothing really surprises me in the NBA,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday in Brooklyn, 90 minutes before tipoff against the Nets. “I did feel bad for Ty. I think Ty is a great coach.

“But circumstances dictate everything in this league, and as coaches, we all know we are completely reliant on talent. If you’ve got talented players, you have a chance. When LeBron left and the team sort of split up, it left Ty in a very precarious situation. It has surprised everybody with how quickly it has manifested itself.”

The Warriors and Cavs have met in the last four NBA Finals, with David Blatt coaching in the first series and Lue in the last three, including the 2016 Finals in which Cleveland became the first team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to win it all.

The Cavs not only lost their contender status when James left for the Lakers, but they also are expected to drop out of the playoffs altogether. One year before James left, the Cavs traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.

What’s left behind basically is All-Star power forward Kevin Love and a cast of role players. Lue was given 11 days to make something of it, and it wasn’t working. It’s not likely that Drew will do much better.

“This is the NBA. It seems like stuff like this happens every year," Kerr said. “But Ty’s a great coach, and if he wants to get back into the league, I’m sure he going to have opportunities. The guy has done a hell of a job. I know it from coaching against him in The Finals several years in a row.

"He’s good. He knows what he’s doing. He’s well prepared every night. If he wants another shot, he’ll get one. But it’s always sad when you see a fellow coach get the axe this early in the season.”

Cavs fire coach Tyronn Lue after 0-6 start to first season after LeBron

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Cavs fire coach Tyronn Lue after 0-6 start to first season after LeBron

UPDATE: The Cavaliers officially announced coach Tyronn Lue has been fired and that Larry Drew will take over on an interim basis.

“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,” Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman said in a statement released by the team. “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.”

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are firing coach Tyronn Lue after starting the 2018-19 season with an 0-6 record, according to multiple national reports. 

Joe Vardon of The Athletic was first to report the news. 

Assistant coach Larry Drew will take over for Lue, according to reports. And at the time of his firing, Lue had approximately $15 million left on his contract, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Lue took over as the Cavs' coach in January 2016 after the midseason firing of David Blatt. The Cavs went on to beat the Warriors in the NBA Finals that season.

Every season that Lue was a head coach, he led the Cavs to the NBA Finals against the Warriors, winning one championship and losing two. Lue has a 211-128 regular-season record as a head coach and is 41-20 in the playoffs. 

Life without LeBron James clearly isn't the same in Cleveland. LeBron chimed in on Twitter after the reported firing. 

Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue taking 'step back from coaching for the time being'

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Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue taking 'step back from coaching for the time being'

The Cavaliers are going to be without head coach Tyronn Lue indefinitely.

On Monday morning, Lue issued the following statement through the team:

"After many conversations with our doctors and Koby and much thought given to what is best for the team and my health, I need to step back from coaching for the time being and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation from which to coach for the rest of the season.

I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.

While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards.

I greatly appreciate Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, our medical team and the organization's support throughout."

Lue has had to leave multiple games early this season due to his health.

Get well, Tyronn.