Cleveland Cavaliers have fired coach Tyronn Lue after six straight losses to start their NBA season.
Tyronn Lue didn’t make it through the NBA season’s first month without LeBron James.
The Cleveland Cavaliers fired their coach on Sunday and named assistant Larry Drew interim head coach.
The 0-6 Cavaliers are off to their worst start since losing their first seven games in the 1995/96 season without James, who left Cleveland this summer for the second time in his career and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent.
Lue guided the Cavaliers to an NBA title in 2016 – Cleveland’s first pro sports championship since 1964 – and helped the team to four straight Finals.
“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,” general manager Koby Altman said in a statement.
“This is a different team equation, though, and one that we felt needed a different voice and approach that required this change.”
Assistant coach Damon Jones was also fired.
Lue issued a statement in which he thanked team owner Dan Gilbert, former general manager David Griffin and Altman.
“My time here in Cleveland was truly special,” Lue said.
“I am very grateful for the dedication, sacrifice and support of all the players on our team, the tremendous coaches I’ve worked with and of course, our incredible fans.”
James expressed gratitude toward his former coach on Twitter.
“T Lue thanks for the memories and more importantly our partnership bringing a (championship) to that deserved city/fan base,” James said. “U know how to find me.”
The 41-year-old Lue was two years into a five-year, $35 million contract he signed after Cleveland won the title. He went 128-83 as Cavs coach.
Drew filled in when Lue stepped aside for 10 games last season while dealing with chest pains, insomnia and anxiety.
The Cavaliers host Atlanta on Tuesday night.