Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue will face his old team Tuesday evening when his current Los Angeles Clippers squad hosts Cleveland.
For the Clippers’ assistant, this is an opportunity to exact revenge against the organization that fired him after he led Cleveland to its first and only NBA title.
Lue spoke about his departure from the Cavaliers recently, and it’s readily apparent that he’s still upset.
“I won a championship there, so you have a chance and an opportunity to do something different, and you should have that leeway to be able to go through a couple challenging years,” Lue said Tuesday morning, via The Athletic’s Joe Vardon ahead of his first meeting against the Cavs. “To win a championship and go to the (NBA) Finals should buy you a little time, you would think.”
We can certainly understand where Lue is coming from here. He took over midseason for then-coach David Blatt during the 2015-16 campaign and led Cleveland to a shocking upset over the 73-win Golden State Warriors in that year’s NBA Finals.
Lue would go on to lead Cleveland to two consecutive losses to the Warriors in the Finals before being ousted six games into last season.
It’s obvious that the presence of LeBron James with the Cavaliers played a role in them running roughshod through the Eastern Conference in Lue’s time with the team. But he deserves some of the credit.
Lue was bound to reunite with James as the Lakers’ head coach this past summer before backing out at the last minute. He ultimately took a job as Doc Rivers’ lead assistant with the Clippers.