The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired coach Tyronn Lue amid an 0-6 start, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because the decision had not yet been publicly announced.
Assistant coach Larry Drew, who filled in for Lue last season when Lue took a leave of absence to deal with health concerns, will serve as interim coach.
While the Cavs were not expected to compete for a championship after losing LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, they were expected to be more competitive than they have been.
General manager Koby Altman was adamant the team did not plan to tank without James and maintained the playoffs were still the team’s goal.
In the offseason, the Cavs re-signed All-Star forward Kevin Love to a four-year extension. But he has missed two games with a sore foot, and Cleveland ranks near the bottom of the league in both offensive (23rd) and defensive (29th) rating.
Lue coached the Cavaliers to a title in 2016 after taking over for David Blatt, who was fired midway through the 2015-16 season. He also led the Cavs to Eastern Conference titles in 2017 and 2018 before losing to Golden State in the Finals both times.
The 2016 title was an amazing achievement, considering the Cavs were down 3-1 to the Warriors and won Game 7 on the road. It was the Cavaliers’ first NBA championship, and the first title for a major Cleveland pro sports team since 1964.
Lue had a 128-83 record during his time as head coach of the Cavs.
ESPN first reported Lue’s dismissal.
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