Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue had an unforgettable stint with the organization, but the going wasn’t always easy.
In 2018, for instance, Lue had to take a leave of absence due to health reasons, and later that calendar year, he was fired by the organization after a rocky start to the 2018-19 season.
The 46-year-old recently revealed that fellow NBA coaches like Steve Kerr and Brad Stevens were there for him when he needed it most.
“Steve and Brad Stevens were the first two guys to reach out and check on me, just to see if I was OK,” Lue said. “I just think building that bond, and the respect we have for each other, coaching against each other in all those finals, it went a long way.”
Right this moment, Lue and Kerr are on the same side, as they’re working to help Team USA bring home the FIBA World Cup.
Lue was thrown into the fire when he became head coach of the Cavs. The 2015-16 season began with David Blatt running the show for Cleveland. Lue, meanwhile, was in his second season as an assistant with the team.
After 41 games that season, Blatt was fired by the organization, and Lue found himself taking over for a Cavs team that had championship aspirations.
Admirably, Lue got the job done. He helped the Cavs secure the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference after taking over, and that was only the beginning for the 2015-16 squad.
The group eliminated the Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors on the Eastern Conference side of the playoff bracket, leaving Kerr’s Golden State Warriors as the final obstacle standing between Cleveland and its first NBA title.
Against all odds, the Cavs stunned the Warriors in the NBA Finals, erasing a 3-1 series deficit to steal the league crown. Lue found a way to lead the organization to the promised land just months after being promoted to head coach.
The remainder of Lue’s stint with the Cavs was a little less glorious. Although the franchise made the NBA Finals two more times under his guidance, there were no more championships in store. His time with Cleveland came to an end just after he’d begun his fourth season as the team’s lead man.
The championship-winning coach may not be with the Cavs anymore, but it’s clear that certain moments from his stint still stand out to him — in this case, involving Kerr and Stevens.