Could the Cleveland Cavaliers firing of Tyronn Lue have an impact on Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers?
Breaking News hits the NBA and somehow it’s tied to Los Angeles Lakers forward, LeBron James. It’s amazing how the NBA works…the six degrees of separation is breathtaking sometimes isn’t it?
The Cleveland Cavaliers fired Head Coach Tyronn Lue after a 0-6 start.
With LeBron James leaving and taking his talents to the West Coast this time, it’s not like the Cavaliers were considered contenders to anyone except Tristan Thompson…
For the record…TECHNICALLY he’s right. Until they are out of the playoff chase, they are still the four-time Eastern Conference champs. Now, that chase will probably officially end in two weeks, but still, he’s right.
Now back to business.
Lue was fired after, get this…three conference titles and a world title. To be clear here, he coached the LAST team to beat the Golden State Warriors in a playoff series. Also, he is the only other coach besides the Lakers’ Pat Riley to take over a team in the middle of an NBA season and guide them to a championship.
Here’s what Tyronn Lue had to say about the situation courtesy of ESPN…
“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.”
Here’s the team statement…
“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 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.”
Ty Lue leaving a dumpster fire with a meteoric losing streak closing in with Kevin Love‘s injury with a $ 15 million check is a beautiful thing.
But this is a Cleveland Cavaliers story, what is this doing on a Lakers website…
Oh I bet he has LeBron James on speed dial! To be clear here, Lue got a raw deal here.
Cleveland ownership and management, for some reason, thought like Tristan Thompson and thought the Cavaliers could compete for a playoff spot. But if you remember, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert promised the Cavs would win the NBA title before LeBron James would when he left for Miami.
Now let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
About a month ago, I did a piece on LeBron James and all of the coaches that he has dealt with throughout his career. I would recommend you read it after reading this…
Yeah sure, Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and LeBron James have preached to everyone that the Lakers would start out slow (which they have and I said so in the piece above) and Luke Walton had nothing to worry about.
Well, how about now?
Look, the NBA is a business and the job is winning if you are a head coach. Think about it folks, the top two coaches in the Eastern Conference last year have been fired before the calendar year was up.
Dwane Casey was the NBA’s Coach of the Year last season, leading the Toronto Raptors to a franchise record in wins before Hurricane LeBron blew the franchise out the water.
Ty Lue was a part of FOUR STRAIGHT FINALS APPEARANCES! He got fired. The guy before him, David Blatt, took the Cavaliers to the Finals and was at the top of the Eastern Conference when HE got fired.
Luke Walton in his tenure has a losing record overall and an underwhelming 2-4 record this season. Now that Lue is available and has a history with LeBron James, the question now is…
Should Luke Walton be worried?
Absolutely…there have been plenty of missteps going into this season for Luke Walton.
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One, he’s not Magic Johnson hire. It’s easy to forget that he is the last link to the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak era. I’m not saying that he hasn’t done a good job, because he has. He got the same mission statement that David Blatt got in Cleveland. He was to develop the young players for the future.
This is something to hang Walton’s hat on. Kyle Kuzma is outstanding. Brandon Ingram is a budding star and Lonzo Ball is improving in leaps and bounds. Josh Hart is about to make millions with his play. The only one problem here…
LeBron James changed the mission statement as soon as he signed his contract. Just like he did in Cleveland.
LeBron James coming to Los Angeles now brings a different dynamic to the future of the franchise.
LeBron James is in his 16th year in the NBA. The window is closing folks. Father Time is still undefeated even though James has done a better job of fighting him than any one player in recent memory, and that includes Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Luke Walton has had his issues with meshing the veterans and the young players coming out of the gate this season.
Nothing was more evident of that than the rotations on Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs. After finding a group that gelled and was very successful for three games, he reverted back to the same roster moves that set the Lakers back in the first two games.
Tyronn Lue knows how to deal with a situation like this. Plus, he has a good idea of how to coach LeBron James.
Look, say what you like about how LeBron James ran everything in Cleveland, but coaching is coaching. Lue did a masterful job in dealing with the circus that comes with a LeBron James led team. Couple that with basically a questionably run organization (tongue in cheek here…) there is a job to be had here for Lue.
This is something that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka may be looking at if the Lakers keep losing. Too many of these losing streaks and it’s goodbye playoffs! Something that NBA front offices make clear they want no matter how delusional they are in Cleveland.
The issue here is NOT that the Lakers are losing…but HOW they are losing. The Lakers could easily be undefeated, but listless play and poor defensive play at the end of games are killing the Lakers. The offense can be worked on but defense is another thing altogether. This inconsistency will not be tolerated for long.
Right now the Lakers are in fourth place in the Pacific Division. Yes, the Sacramento Kings are ahead of the Lakers too. The Dodgers just lost the World Series (GRRR AGAIN!!!!) so expect Magic Johnson to have a closer eye on what is going on in Laker land.
The phrase, they’ll figure it out, has been floating around all season. But for how long? The Lakers have four games coming with Minnesota twice with Dallas, Portland and Toronto sandwiched in the middle. If this leads to a losing streak, look for LeBron James to ask for a coach that he trusts, and look for Ty Lue to get a call.
The Los Angeles Lakers have started their long journey through the NBA season. Lake Show Life will be there every step of the way. Continue to check in for Lakers news, previews and reviews.
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