The Cavs started the season on a horrible note, losing their first six games while accumulating a net rating of -12.6, second-to-worst in the league. That was apparently enough for management to pull the plug on Lue as a coach.
The timing of the firing is exceptionally odd. Sure, Cleveland has been terrible thus far, but they can’t have had any expectations for success after LeBron James left in free agency. If the team was a bad 12-day stretch away from firing Lue, why didn’t they let him go over the summer, when they could have actually hired a new head coach, and given that coach time to implement the system?
According to reports, many of the veterans on the team are extremely upset with the decision. There is also speculation that Lue prioritizing those veterans over the younger prospects was part of the decision for letting him go.
While Lue has never particularly impressed as a coach, he does deserve credit for his role in the Cavs winning their first title. He took over the job in January of 2016 after the team fired David Blatt, and led the team to the NBA Finals, where they pulled off the historic and improbable 3-1 comeback against the Warriors.
Lue finishes his Cavs tenure with a record of 128-83, with three Finals appearances. And, thankfully, he’ll get to put a lot of money in his pocket despite the dysfunctional Cavs organization butchering this season.
Ty Lue had approximately $15M left on his Cavaliers contract, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 28, 2018
For the Warriors, it’s just one more domino falling for their former rivals. When the team travels to Cleveland in December, the team won’t look much like the one that Golden State has grown accustomed to playing every June.