Cavs News: Cavaliers Hire Mike Longabardi as Assistant Coach for Defense

Mike Longabardi

The Cleveland Cavaliers are adding Mike Longabardi to the coaching staff.

Longabardi, who previously served as the Phoenix Suns’ defensive coordinator, will take over the defensive specialist role that Tyronn Lue held before he accepted the head coaching position with the Cavaliers. The Suns released Longabardi last month due to a bench shake-up involving Jeff Hornacek’s staff.

Lue and Longabardi have previously worked together on the Boston Celtics’ coaching staff.

Longabardi also worked under Tom Thibodeau while with the Celtics and he is known for his ability to get the best defensively out of his teams. Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat had commented that the Suns were vastly improved during the 2013-14 season due to Longabardi’s coaching:

“I would say the big success on that team is actually Mike Longabardi, the assistant coach from the Boston Celtics. He’s the defensive coordinator. He’s just an incredible defensive coordinator. He gets his team ready for every game and I think the success of the team, a lot goes to him. He knows how to win the games.”

Due to Lue and Longabardi’s familiarity with one another, the Cavaliers should only benefit as a result.

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